Dear Parish family,
As a young boy I seem to recall that time often moved at a snail’s pace. I’m sure my parents have very “fond” memories of our road trips when my two sisters and I continually asked the question from the back seat, “are we there yet?!” I also recollect that Christmas seemed to take an eternity to arrive. Today, however, I am of the mindset that time is a great sprinter and I’m running out of breath trying to keep up with it. I would imagine that today my road trip response from the back seat would be more in line with, “we’re already here?!”
It is our modern day reality that December is the fastest paced month of our secular calendar. Retailers and media use the Christmas season to push Christ out of the picture and make the buying public paranoid that they’re not doing enough shopping or spending enough money for that, “special someone on their shopping list”.
And yet it is in this fast paced month that the Church calls us to, of all things, slow down. In its wisdom she recognizes that the world’s external preparations have nothing to do with the true preparation for the holy season of Christmas. The Church asks that we close our eyes and ears to the outside world long enough to hear the message of Christmas. We are asked to make a concerted effort to carve out a bit of time every day to pray and prepare our hearts for His arrival. It is through these moments in our days that we will be better able to enter the Christmas seasons with joy instead of exhaustion, peace instead of anxiousness, and truth instead of commercial brain washing.
To assist us on this journey our two Churches will be offering a beautiful penance service, the Little Blue Book of daily Advent meditations and prayers, a retreat with Mother Olga, and the greatest preparation gift of all – the gift that truly keeps giving, the Holy Mass. I would encourage all of us to take the opportunity offered during this Advent season to open our eyes and hearts to the wonder of this beautiful time of our Church year.
On behalf of my brother clergy and the staff of our two communities, I would like to wish you all a very prayerful Advent and a very blessed Christmas.