So here we are at the beginning of Advent! I cannot believe how fast this year is passing. I half-jokingly said that I think that the year is only six months long, at least it seems that short due to the speed with which it is flying by. And we will undoubtedly blink and it will be Christmas. I am one who firmly believes in celebrating Advent and not rushing into the Christmas season. I do a minimal amount of decorating (and that just so that I do not become exhausted due to my decreasing energy). My tree will not appear until the Saturday or Sunday before Christmas and will not be lit until Christmas Eve. And, of course, my crib with my beautiful Infant Jesus will not appear until Christmas Eve as well. I have four candles in my window, one for each week of Advent. I lit the first one on Sunday and will light an additional one for each of the next 3 Sundays. What I really need to work on is my heart. While I have been working to get my apartment cleaned up, I must also clean up my heart as well. The Sacrament of Reconciliation will be on my agenda. And then I must adorn my heart even as I adorn my home, for is not my heart His home? And so, with what shall I adorn it? With greater attention to prayer, to reflection, to spiritual reading. To growing in love, patience, and humility. How lovely it is to love Him! For is there any greater love in the world than His! And many think that He does not need to be loved in return. Perhaps He does not need it, be He truly does want our love. His words to St. Margaret Mary indicate this: "Behold this Heart which has so loved men and is so little loved by them in return." To Sister Josefa Menendez, He said, "All I ask of you is to love and console Me. I want you to know how dearly My Heart loves you, how great are the riches it contains, and you must be like soft wax that I may mold you to My liking." And to St. Faustina, He said, "I am concerned about every beat of your heart. Every stirring of your love is reflected in My Heart. I thirst for your love." And from the cross, He cried out "I thirst!" Surely He suffered from physical thirst, the dehydration coming from His loss of blood! But even more, He thirsted for the love of all those for whom He was surrendering His life. And why else would He have come among us as a baby! To be loved. A baby is wholly non-threatening. Everybody loves babies and wants to shower them with hugs and kisses. And so Jesus comes to us as an infant so that we cannot resist Him, cannot resist loving
Him. And so we must be preparing hearts filled with love as with so many soft, fleece blankets to cradle the Infant Jesus. Could there be any better love to share than His! Let us straighten out the winding roads, fill in the valleys, and bring down the mountains and hills that are keeping us from loving Him as He deserves and desires. Prepare the way of the Lord!