Advent is over, and Christmas is here! I had high hopes of being ready, not only for the general celebration of Christmas, but of being ready sprititally for the birth of our King! As things progressed, things weren’t going the way I had hoped. Confession was sparse because I had been sick and taking care of my daughter who was also sick. There was no extra time for prayer or scriptural readings or whatever I felt would bring me closer to our King on Christmas. Confession schedules did not mesh with my schedule, and the amount of time I spent sleeping or not sleeping due to this virus, interferred with everything I had planned. Nothing was going to help me be ready for Christmas. Then today happened.
I was at Mass this morning. The Holy Spirit enlightens and gives hope. I began my examination of conscience since I was hoping that the priest who said Mass would have time to hear my Christmas confession. I keep a notebook where I make a list of my sins. As I began to write, the thought flowed through my brain.
“You are ready. Your formation has not been typical, but atypical.”
Then, I realized how God had shaped my Advent. Yes, my daughter had become very ill, and I was her caretaker. I had to clean litter boxes, fix meals, keep the house clean, particularly the bathroom, and all the other goings on of everyday life. Boots on the ground, Working towards a higher level of spirituality. Being ordinary. Doing what was required, even if I was exhausted. Offering it up.
No, I didn’t get to attend Mass daily No, I wasn’t able to go to confession weekly. No, I wasn’t able to give to the poor. Visit a nursing home. I wasn’t even able to attend Mass one Sunday because I was sick. This time, God was not asking that of me. He as with me, helping me to suffer, helping me to give back to Him what He had given me. He was allowing me to walk with the Holy Family on their journey to Bethlehem.
The Holy Spirit does enlighten, and this enlightening was amazing. It wan’t mystical, it was a note in a notebook that lead to thoughts, and God allowing me to see how my formation had happened this Advent season. I had done nothing. I hadn’t even thought of this as I lay hacking and coughing or, at times, impatiently caring for my daughter. It was a journey through the desert to Bethlehem, and now, I am ready God’s love is not always what we would expect. Many times, it’s very painful and discomforting. However, His love is there, no matter what. His loves does not change. He is always love for us. We don’t deserve it. We don’t, but we are blessed with god who loves us in spite of ourselves, and gives us the graces we need, even if we can’t see what is happening at the time. Just like now, my thoughts were interupted by a phone call, and I couldn’t find my phone. I know I had more profound thoughts to write before that phone call. Now, they are gone. It doesn’t matter, I guess. God is working, even now.
Merry Christmas! For unto us a Child is born! Gloria in excelsis Deo!