"Walking in the way and the love of the Lord"
The season of Advent is a waiting time. Waiting with hopeful anticipation. Waiting with joyful hearts. The Blessed Mother Mary is on her way to Bethlehem.
As a child, I couldn't wait for Christmas. In my child’s heart it was all about Santa. Of course, we had the stable set up and the Advent calendar to count down the days, Jesus was coming. But so was Santa.
Every Christmas, I was probably the most impatient of the four children. I remember bugging my parents and my grandparents so much, that they started a new tradition. The story our parents told us (in order to get some sleep on Christmas Eve) was that Santa would start his journey at our house. We would be his first stop. Our house! Out of the entire world, our house! He would stop early on Christmas Eve, (yeah, I believed them, not my brother, but my two sisters and I were sold.) That meant that we would get home from Mass, have our Christmas Eve supper... and then my Dad would take all four of us for a walk. I'm glad we lived in Florida because it was usually perfect weather. As we walked around the neighborhood, we would be looking for Santa in the sky. My Dad would always see him and but just as we returned, he would see him fly away. What an amazing night! After we opened gifts, I would fall asleep so happy and in peace because my wishes had come true.
What a joyful time? Now as an adult, the magic of Santa long gone, the waiting Advent season takes on new meaning. We wait, we prepare and we look for readings that will fill our souls with comfort in this season of waiting. We are reminded of the times in our lives when waiting was difficult. It’s in those times that we hold onto words of wisdom. “All will be well.” “This too shall pass.” “Nothing is impossible with God.”
I understand the frustration of waiting. I have had days when the words, “Jesus I trust in You,” were my only comfort. Even now I find myself in a personal season of waiting. At times I wait joyfully, knowing and trusting that all will be well and at other times I feel lonely. I'm sure you can relate.
But in this season of Advent, I am reminded that Christmas is all about the plan of God unfolding, in God's way and in His good time. Mary’s story is unfolding as we patiently journey with her through Advent. God’s plan is unfolding for our salvation. And in faith we believe a way for us is unfolding.
Because of this, I sit in my prayer corner and prepare my heart for Christmas joy. Entering into a time of deeper prayer and reflection during this Advent season, has brought me to a good place. I know that I feel closest to Our Lord, when I give up the call of the world and give my time to Him. Especially in our fast-paced, technological society, we need our quiet time, a time to enter more fully into the joy of Christ's birth. We must now wait patiently like Our Blessed Mother. She is a perfect example for us. Mary surrendered to the workings of Divine Providence.
After conceiving Jesus at the Annunciation, Mary had to exercise great patience with Joseph, her betrothed, and had to wait for the Lord to direct him. Since Joseph feared taking Mary to be his wife, she might have wondered if Joseph understood the great role God was asking him to play in the Incarnation and the salvation of the world.
In order for us to experience Christmas joy, we are invited to wait patiently like Mary. So, join me in asking the Blessed Mother to help prepare our hearts for Christ.
God calls us to "holy waiting" as we look for the fulfillment of His promises. May we follow the Blessed Virgin Mary, who models this patience and holy waiting for us. She is our mother and guide during this Advent, leading us on the way to Christmas joy!
May we sleep peacefully during this Advent waiting time, happy to know in our hearts that Our Lord is fulfilling our Christmas wishes and prayers.
Silent night, holy night. All is calm, all is bright. Round yon virgin, mother and child. Holy infant so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace
Prayerful Path/Mary Maddox
Saint James, pray for us that we may be willing to leave everything to follow Jesus as you did. Help us to become special friends of Jesus as you were. Amen