Here is a public confession (just a note there are even more 'confessions' in the book-- A Lost Shepherd available at Amazon, local bookstores, Barnes and Noble, Kindle, Nook, and New Hope Press to name a few -- this was an unpaid commercial announcement....ha....buy one for your priest friend, your husband, wife, anybody who is angry at the church, divorced, remarried, ex-priest, convert, hopeless, helpless or feeling trapped and lost....end of commercial--ha)
Anyways..this public confession is rather boring.
We are decorated for Christmas.
Actually we were decorated way before Thanksgiving.
I remember years back when parish and diocesan, at least in the United States, wanted no Christmas parties for the parishes or rectories. In fact when pushed--their reason was to have the 'liturgically correct parties' during the Octave of Christmas. In an ideal world--maybe.
Here's an idea while I'm soapboxing--the recent Thanksgiving stir with black friday starting on thursday--why not offer an early morning Mass for the people of God? Really. They used to have them for hunters at 3 AM--so why not shoppers? Come on--let's work with the challenges and create new opportunities. Simply preaching against the phenomena hasn't worked and will not work. It is time to adapt. This isn't giving in. It is allowing the Gospel to permeate the marketplace.
Maybe you recall the push to move the color of Advent from purple to blue? (I confess, I had a blue chasuble).
What can screw up a one car funeral.
Well, in our household (thanks to my wife's never ending Christmas Spirit) we are decorated, full bore.
Oh, there is an Advent tree and a wreath. But the rest is out, a train, a caboose, some bells, some trees with twinkling lights. Outside is a simple nativity scene my father made years ago. Alone in the dark with a star above, old white plastic figures of the Virgin and her Spouse beckon us to look at the empty crib made by my son.
Alone in the dark it reminds us, calls us, beckons us to anticipate.
May your season of anticipation awake your soul's desire for God.
Because in the end--it has nothing to do with purple, blue, red, or green, a tree or a light or even a gift.
It has to do with your soul and the soul's under your charge.