We have been lighting our Advent wreath at bedtime each night and then taking some time to talk about, and pray for, the people who have sent us Christmas cards. We have moved so many times and some of our children don’t remember much about different places we have lived, but they like to hear about our old friends, the twins who lived upstairs from us in the city, or the couple who hosted us the first Christmas that we were away from family. It is really important to me that we pray for each of these families, and so we think of them as we light our wreath each night, and we hope that they are well, or that they are comforted, and we ask God to draw them close during this special time of year.
Conversions happen at Christmas. I know of several people who came back to the church as adults during Advent. People are moved to go to Mass, to stop by the Church, to think about the “old traditions” and that gives God room to work His way into their hearts. People drive past their local parishes and they wonder why they have been away so long. Suddenly, for reasons that even they cannot explain, they decide to come back. It is an important time to prepare the way of the Lord by praying for our friends so that they will hear Him – the world shouts, but the tabernacle whispers.