We all seem to start Advent with energy. Even if we’re looking at lists with too much to do on them, recipes we have no ideas how to crack, friends arriving at inopportune times… it’s still just the start of the miraculous season. But then Advent II comes along and we recognize the theme is peace and there is suddenly less and less of it around. Our jobs can seem dull; some of us have lost them. Our families are scattered among too many activities. And we worry if we’ve left someone off the Christmas-present list. What can we do” Here are three suggestions:
- Pray more, not less. It may or may not be St. Francis de Sales who said, “I pray for a half-hour, unless I’m very busy; then I pray for an hour,” but you get the point. In the midst of our busyness, we need God more than ever. It is his son’s birth we are about to celebrate, so let’s spend time with that family as well as our own!
- Stay close to the story. Those of you who grew up in large families, or have families of your own, you know how arduous the last weeks of pregnancy are. Be with Mary in her time of trial. She is traveling, uncertain, afraid, and very aware that she will soon be giving birth. Stay close to her; say a particular Rosary to be with her in these days and hours of difficulty.
- Be in the moment, but look ahead. This is the Church’s new year: now, not January 1, is when she liturgical year changes. Why not make this a time to look forward into the next Church year? Are there “resolutions” you can make that will bring you closer to God in this new year? Can you commit to a special prayer, or a new service?
Advent is a tricky time, and it’s always more difficult to navigate than we think. Stay open to what God sends your way, welcome it with open arms, and see what the Lord has in store for you today!