Sweep the floor clean and open the windows! It’s a brand and grand new year! And in order to make it the absolute best, one of the most important activities that we can practice (besides good mid-winter cleaning) is forgiveness. Here’s why: The new year offers many opportunities for us to do better than we […]
Merry Christmas and, still, Blessed Advent!
Yes, we have passed the Advent Season, that annual time of waiting, but I still carry some of the graces from those days with me. Perhaps you do, too. A sense of comfort at the extra quiet and prayer for insight. A gratitude at the many blessings God has given us. Even, perhaps, a more pronounced feeling of tenderness for ourselves and others who suffer. Advent can wash us in God’s love and renew us in His glorious light, and our awareness of these need not vanish when December 25 dawns and it is, Hallelujah!, Christmas!
If Christmas joy is difficult to embrace because of personal pain, disappointment, loneliness or other blanket of sorrow, a return to the heart of Advent can help lift us up. There, we can have permission to pray, direction to meditate on Isaiah or one of the Gospels. Through remembering and marking Advent even after Christmas, we can address our particular stresses; Advent takes patience, and if we work a little harder on acquiring more patience, we can relax more and stress less.
In Advent, we anticipate Christmas. Now that Christmas 2015 has come and gone, we can anticipate the next anew, and even plan for it tangibly. Mark the calendar for times of prayer or schedule in extra spiritually-centered activities.
Through Advent, we can better understand our reaction and relationship to the larger “wait,” the time when we will be singing with the angels in our forever heavenly home. We can rejoice that our lives will then not repeat a sometimes-difficult cycle of waiting and arrival and more waiting, but rather will be fulfilled, along with all people of faith.
I pray that your Christmas was splendid and filled with light and song. But if it wasn’t what you expected or had hoped for, there’s nothing wrong with turning back the clock a bit. Revisit Advent and the prayers, bible passages and process that it offers. For that is a blessed gift, too!
Joy and peace,