The Second Monday of Advent

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It’s only natural to think of children in these Advent days. For one thing, we’re all waiting for the coming of a child. No, not just a child: the child. The Son of God. That’s what Advent is all about.

It’s also a special time for all children. We see the joy in their little faces as they anticipate the coming of Santa Claus. Watch them as they discover the bright lights and holiday decorations. They’re in awe of the season. Not burdened by jobs, or bills, or a failing economy, all they see is the wonder of the season. We wish we could share that joy and wonder.

It’s ironic that we begin life with that sense of wonder. Then, somewhere along the line, we lose it. We may not realize it at first, but sooner or later we discover that it’s gone. Then we spend the rest of our lives wishing we could get it back.

The cynic will tell us that you can’t get it back. Reality, or at least their version of reality, won’t allow it. Guess what?! You can get it back. Read what Henri Nouwen wrote in Jesus & Mary: Finding our Sacred Center:

“Mary creates a space for us where we can become children as Jesus became a child…It is precisely this childhood that Mary wants us to claim. She who offered an immaculate space for God to take on human flesh wants to offer us a space where we can be reborn as Jesus was born. With the same heart that loved Jesus, she wants to love us. It is a heart that will not make us wonder anxiously whether we are truly loved. It is a heart that has not been marked by the infidelities of the human race and so will never bring wounds to those who seek peace there.”

Or, as Thomas Merton wrote in Seasons of Celebration:

“If we leave (Mary) out of the Sacrament of Advent we shall never fully penetrate its mystery, since we need to go forth to meet our savior on the same Road by which He came to us.”

Stepping back from all the confusion and stress of our daily lives for a few minutes each day and praying the Rosary is one way to get back in touch with our “inner child” and find some of that wonderful peace that we enjoyed as children.

December 7, 1941, a day that will live in infamy.

It may seem like a step in the wrong direction to consider the horrible events of Pearl Harbor Day. It was truly a day that will live in infamy. But it was also a day that changed the world. It gave our country the resolve to pull together and lead the Allies to victory both in the Pacific and in Europe.

Everything happens for a reason and much of the freedom and prosperity (Even in the midst of a recession, we’re still the most prosperous nation on the planet.) we enjoy today can be traced back to that fateful day nearly seventy years ago today. God can make something good out of even the worst things.

May God bless the men and women, living and dead, who suffered on that day.

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