Greetings from the Confidentia Shrine,
We have lit the third candle of the Advent wreath and tomorrow starts the novena for Christmas! Are you ready?? By this we mean not so much the preparation for the festivities but whether or not we are ready for the Gift of Jesus: salvation, healing, peace! When we are ready, we have nothing to worry or be concerned about. Just like Mary and Joseph, we trust in the guidance of Divine Providence. Some of us may spend the coming days leading up to Christmas with the traditional posada or shelter seeking. Instead of visiting other homes, we may accompany Mary and Joseph on their journey by offering them a special place in each of the rooms of our own home. Perhaps more than ever before, our Advent and Christmas will resemble that of the Holy Family.
Uncertainty, isolation, confusion, and rejection were the reality of their voyage from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Likewise, the pandemic restricts us in more than one way and gently or not so gently nudges us to accept our new reality. Would you have ever thought you would find yourself being unable to visit or invite dear ones for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s? Indeed, would you have guessed that a single Sunday (let alone months of Sundays and Holy Days) would ever pass without you in the pew? With coronavirus cases resurging in many parts of the country, access to the sacraments and Mass may be restricted or blocked, and family plans and other seasonal events canceled.
Let us unite with the Holy Family. Let us long for Mary to place Jesus into our hearts anew so they can more intimately live through this chapter of history with us. When we are unable to visit a loved one, they are able. When we are unable to comfort another, they can do it. When we are at home on a Sunday or even Christmas Day, Mary brings her Son to our home. When our minds and hearts are filled with clouds of questions and doubts—let us not be afraid—nothing can drive the Mother and Child away. Nothing can separate us from the saving love of God, who comes again also during the pandemic because He is God with us!
In these challenging times, allow this truth to sink into your heart shrine! Let this be our daily (spiritual) communion prayer:
Jubilantly place the Lord into my soul anew,
so that, like you, I may perfectly resemble him.
Let me be a Christ-bearer for our times,
that they may shine in the brightest radiance of the sun.
United in this longing and with best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year,
Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary