Happy New Year, dear friends!
Although the calendar new year is just under a month away, the Church’s new year began a couple of days ago on the first Sunday of Advent. Following the season of Advent will come the Christmas season, then a period of ordinary time before Lent, then the Lenten season, the Triduum, the Easter Season, and another long stretch of ordinary time before we come to Advent again. How fun it is to be a Catholic! Our liturgical year is marked by joyous Feast Days, periods of waiting and fasting, saints’ days, and many other occasions to celebrate.
Among the Builders here at Building Cathedrals, the past year has been very eventful! All of us have welcomed new babies into our families, and we have seen each other through the ups and downs of our joys and sorrows. We live in many different places, but we remain close to each other through consistent prayer and ongoing email and phone conversations. I am so grateful for this group of amazing women, and for all of our readers here at BC – you have all encouraged me, challenged me, and made me smile on so many different occasions over the past year.
As we all know, there are many people in our lives that are struggling during this holiday season. Rather than looking forward to the Christmas season, they are dreading all of the parties and celebrations. Perhaps they have gone through a very difficult loss over the course of the past year, or perhaps they are dealing with depression or anxiety for some reason. Some are going through tough financial times. They feel lonely and isolated because everyone around them is celebrating while they are struggling to make it through each day. I would bet that each of us can name at least 10 people for whom this is the case this year!
I am proposing that we pray together, as a Building Cathedrals family, for all of the people in our lives that are suffering right now, during this Advent season. One of my favorite prayers is the Chaplet of Divine Mercy – you can find it here in a beautiful sung form. Perhaps you can commit to once a week, or maybe even every day, but whatever it is, write it down in your calendar and treat it as a regular commitment. You could even download the Chaplet onto your phone and pray it with your children as you drive around to your different activities. If you have a prayer intention that you would like to share, please do so in the comments section.
God bless all of you as we begin the holy season of Advent!