Advent at Loretto: Sacred words surround us — be ready, listen, pray
Remember those little calendars every Advent that when you opened the doors for each day of December a short message would appear? Those calendars may have helped some little ones and older folks, too, to satisfy their excitement during the days before Christmas and get them in perspective. Between Advent calendars and the Advent wreaths of four candles, which many lit every night, preparation for Christmas would be ready and moving along. Over the years, the hope is that the deeper meaning of the four weeks of Advent gradually touches our lives and the light that fills the darkness of waiting becomes a call of transformation.
Enter that place of Advent hope. Would a calendar help? Yes. Would an Advent wreath give light to new decisions, to new works of peace? Yes. God is turning the world upside down in the gift of Jesus to us. One of the O Antiphons for Advent reads, “O radiant dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice: come and shine on those who live in darkness.”
There are many sacred words around us in the holy season of Advent. But we must look for them. What words and images nourish us? Are there some that leave us disheartened and discouraged? Do we look for messages in the news or local paper or Church that help us recognize the holy in our midst: God, others, sacred events in our own lives?
Pay attention this year as we are so aware of war, starving peoples around the globe, misuse of the environment and more human needs than we can list. Pay attention to the Scripture you will hear during Advent. They are sacred words around us, written to remind us that the mystery of Jesus’ birth already has occurred and is at the heart of this holy season. Every year we are reminded of promise and preparation. It is time to open the doors of an Advent calendar and light the candles on the wreath; they have more right to exist than all the darkness.
Hallmark has both Advent calendars and candles. Get some for your table today.
Be ready. Listen. Pray.