I entered parish ministry with a fair amount of idealism, particularly liturgical idealism. Inconveniently, the liturgical proclivities I picked up in seminary were not especially popular with my first congregation. This became clear as a sleigh bell during our first Advent season together.
The proximity of Thanksgiving and Advent evokes in me an awareness and celebration of the ways God comes into the world.
Those of us in violence-plagued neighborhoods look forward to winter's reprieve. Our teenagers understand Advent waiting all too well.
It’s an odd year for my family. My parents, 88 and 89, have lived rich and full lives, and my husband, children and I have shared holidays large and small with them. But this year they are confined to rooms in a nursing home.
Patience is not one of our stronger characteristics. A flight delay or traffic jam can become an emotional and physical crisis.
Whenever I attend Catholic mass during Advent, as I did last weekend, I’m always struck by how it is simply assumed—how it’s a liturgical . . . no, an ontological given—that Christmas is nowhere yet in sight.
Advent is the season of the showing.
As the second Sunday in advent approaches, I find the prophets of the season compelling. To my ears, their message sounds pretty consistent: "Change the ways of this world."
Darkness does not come from a different place than light; it is not presided over by a different God.
I'm particularly eager for Advent this year. Perhaps it's because recent world events have been so relentlessly grim.
I decided our family's Christmas would be simple and spirit-centered. Green to parenting, I defined spiritual as anything that allowed me a minute to reflect on what, beyond the laundry, mattered.