URBANDALE, Iowa, December 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – It’s that time of year again.
Sacred hymns are played and sung in expectation of Christmas. Christians anxiously await the day to commemorate our savior’s birth, praying and anticipating as each week’s Advent candle is lit.
Holy and lovely hymns, beautiful candlelight and Christmas images – all perfect things to help bring the peace of Christ while looking forward to celebrating His coming.
But if your experience is anything like mine it’s probably something more like: wishing retailers hadn’t all but wrecked up Christmas observance for so many; promptly flipping the channel each time one of those many music recordings with little or nothing to do with Christmas yammers its way out of the radio speaker; and battling weariness and praying for calm once holiday prep merges with marriage, parenthood, work, and other commitments.
We do all we can to create a peaceful expectant time during Advent, but the reality is we are often outnumbered, outflanked, and otherwise run over by the culture.
First World problems of the U.S. sort, to be sure.
But you don’t have to look far in our omnipresent media for instance after instance of how Christmas’s perennial theme of Peace on earth, good will toward men has not been achieved in the deeper sense either across the globe.
Rejection of the Gospel and dismissal of the Church’s truth pervade our world, having become so common that we’ve come to expect them.
Children are legally killed in their mothers’ wombs, believers are martyred at all levels for living their faith, and God’s plan for marriage and family is the subject of full-on attack.
It’s become much more acceptable in society to go along with these things than to object to them, and sadly, often our leaders don’t exhibit the leadership we should be able to expect.
Your faith is fine, so long as you keep it inside your church space and out of the public square, and God’s morals are also fine, as long as they don’t impede or impugn another individual’s truth.
We know the gates of Hell will not prevail against God’s Church, but Satan certainly is expending some considerable effort at making an end run. And it’s disturbing because we are human.
So now how best to prepare our hearts, homes and world for the coming of Christ?
Give it up to God.
“And Mary said: My soul doth magnify the Lord. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.” Luke 1:46-47 D-R
In all of history, what human being has given their life over to the Lord on a more profound level than his mother? And what better example in doing so is there for us?
As the Blessed Mother, Mary intercedes for us, Christ’s literal and figurative conduit. To Jesus through Mary, as the saying goes.
In addition to her being the ultimate role model, I always look to the Blessed Mother for comfort, inspiration, and peace.
And to be clear, it’s always work for me to make myself a worthy recipient of these things, similarly to receiving the Eucharist at Mass. But just like worthiness of receiving the Eucharist, it doesn’t stop me from working for it, again and again.
God gave His Son for our salvation; we can certainly persevere in making ourselves ready to welcome Him.
So I’ll keep playing Christmas chants, lighting candles, and working to create peaceful space in my home as Christmas nears and continue to throughout the season.
I’ll also keep doing my best to sidestep the usual chaos of the commercialized Christmas.
And I invite you in your prayers to consider an appeal to Christ’s mother for His Father to grace us with His Mercy.
You’d be surprised how much comfort and peace Our Mother can bring; and what better time to avail ourselves of a direct channel to God than now, as we endeavor to prepare the way of the Lord amidst cultural craziness in our damaged world.
“Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.”
And may God bless us all.