Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Once in a blue moon, I have difficulty in writing a letter for the bulletin. This is one of those times. It’s strange,because it’s not as if there’s nothing to talk about. But nothing that’s going on right at the moment seems quite “letter in the bulletin” worthy. Part of that may be the result of the busyness of the season; my days are filled
with meetings and events and confessions and so on that it makes writing a letter just a little more challenging.My attention is being pulled in a million directions at the moment. But in some ways, my current struggle to put words on a page is a strong reminder of how important the season of Advent really is.

In a world where everything seems to demand our full attention and immediate action, Advent stands as a season of waiting and expectation. December is a crazy month on everyone’s calendar. Not only are there the Christmas preparations and celebrations, but then there’s all the ordinary life things that don’t go on hold just
because there’s a holiday coming up. And so, we run from thing to thing, compile lists of stuff to do, and get ourselves and our families ready for the big day of Christmas.
Advent is meant to stop us from going too far with all of that. Liturgically, we see things simplified in the Advent season, by dropping the Gloria at Sunday Mass and a lighter decoration around the church.

In our prayer lives, we’re invited to spend more time in reflection, not less. And while there are special events such as Simbang Gabi and Lessons & Carols in the Advent season, the overall purpose of them is to draw us out of the hecticness of everyday life and give us an opportunity to withdraw into God’s presence and be refreshed by Him. In a sense, when the world around us is saying, “Go, go, go!” and “Do, do, do!” Advent is saying, “Wait and look for the Lord.” and “Prepare your heart and mind in prayer for His coming.”

From now until Christmas, my calendar is jam-packed. And to be honest, that it makes it difficult to enter into the greater theme of Advent of prayerful waiting and expectation. But I’m going to remind myself and hopefully all of you that despite how busy and crazy and time-consuming everything is this time of year, the Advent
approach is the better one to take. Don’t let the stress surrounding the holiday put too much of a damper on the spiritual depth that Advent affords us. With just about a week to go until Christmas, there’s still time to get done what needs to get done. But it’s also a beautiful opportunity to approach God in prayer to help us know His peace and presence in our lives.

Peace and Goodness,
Fr. Dan