It's Advent, the time to prepare the way for the Lord. In my mind, it always has the atmosphere of darkness and silence and lots of candles.
Until you see the halls being decked, hear the Christmas music blaring from every direction, are dazzled by lights and trim and "Seasons Greetings." You hear of wild shoppers and meet long lines in the stores. Everything seems to shout.
And where is the Lord?
It is easy to be distracted in this time of year, forgetful and busy, getting ready for the day -- and then we're so exhausted by the Feast of the Incarnation of God that we can only follow up the "Merry Christmas" with a heartfelt "Thank God it's over!"
But that's not the spirit of the Advent Season. And it's not impossible to have Advent even in the midst of this wild world of ours.
Advent is walking through the chaos with the quiet in our hearts; taking time for the prayer that we need; refusing to get pulled away from reflection by the simple choice to prepare our hearts for His coming. It's not a strident, hard sort of thing; it's a Marian attitude - an imitation of the Lady who became God's good Mother.
Let us pray for one another for the true Spirit of the Season.
--Submitted by Sr. M. Luka, Kansas City in Kansas