Taking the risk

The pandemic isolation eats away at the heart. Fortunately, as Christians, we have the gift of Faith and the very real people of the scriptures who model for us living in any circumstances. The Advent story is our story and the ‘characters’ are our people speaking to us through God’s Word. Unfortunately, in our times of fear and isolation, dangerous risks masked as ‘good’ tempt us from this especially by the media. Aroused in our passions of anger or fear, this often creates a false sense of security and inclusion with others. Some urge us to rage with them. Others to escape into visionaries and claims of supernatural protection. Either becomes a type of refuge.

Having the right opinion doesn’t get us into Heaven; having the right disposition does. Are we ready to ‘take the risk’ of following Jesus 100% and let go of these attachments?

The center of the fold

For Gaudete Sunday, we rejoice as we prepare for the coming of our Savior Lord Jesus Christ. There is a longing in each of us for Advent to be a little different this year and for Christmas to truly be joyful.

Advent is a time of awaiting new life: our own. “New” is change; “life” is God. The only way to change a dynamic in any relationship is to first change ourselves, which is precisely the beauty of Advent. The gift of Christmas is this new relationship with God. Gaudete is a day of thanksgiving that our deepest Hope is to be fulfilled: that of being wanted and loved by Love Itself.

You gotta believe to receive

When my daughter was 3, a friend told her (regarding Christmas & Santa Claus) “You gotta believe to receive”. She immediately began to cry because that meant her Jewish friends would never have Santa Claus come to their house!. Well, I was able to calm her slightly by explaining the 8 days of gifts given in Hanukah. But she still knew there was something more special about having God’s saint come personally on Christmas eve just for you. At the center of the myths, magic and folklore of Santa Claus is a beautiful truth: believing in the one you cannot see who longs to shower you with His precious gifts.

How easily grown-ups lose sight of that.

This Advent live differently

The rapid rise in Internet genealogy websites shows we are people seeking a past; a foundation in which to be grounded. Evil forces in our society are attempting to destroy our American and our Catholic heritage. Two generations of American Catholics have been raised without pride in, patriotism for or loyalty to either. With no past to guide the future, we are left to a very one-dimensional present existence.

This Advent embrace who you are. Live differently.