“Our rejoicing should not be something superficial and frivolous. It is not just a giddy laughter or a silly emotion. We rejoice rather because of our profound conviction that Jesus is the Lord and in Him is our salvation. We rejoice because of the gift of His eternal love for us. We rejoice by responding with love to the love He has shown us. We rejoice in the Truth and we seek to live in holiness of life, “preserved blameless for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.”” – Fr. Thomas Bennett
Every night the Advent candles are almost like a slap in the face, a reminder of all the ways I’ve failed to model Christ to the boys – convicting me of my impatience, selfishness, harsh tongue, and lack of compassion. But they somehow do this much more gently, with far less accompanying guilt, than my own inner drive for perfection, and I believe it is because of the One to whom they point. With every failure comes the opportunity for forgiveness; with every weary night the promise of another chance tomorrow; with every sorrow and broken moment the hope of healing, redemption, and joy. And amidst our struggles to love each other well as parent and child, husband and wife, or brother and sister, our days are suffused with the wonder and joy of Christmas, the anticipation of something great about to happen, and it helps us to pick up the pieces and go about building and rebuilding our love.