Tuesday greetings on a very dreary day here in the Midwest. Light rain and temperatures in the 30's now for several days.
I remember well my first winter here in the Midwest. I moved here from sunny central Florida. On my first Thanksgiving here, the homilist for the Thanksgiving Day Mass began his homily with these words: "I don't know what we have to be thankful for; we haven't seen the sun here in 29 straight days!" Ah, the Midwest!
I don't know about you, but these are days of fond remembrances for me of Advents and Christmases long past. I guess I still have the eyes of a child during this season. Each afternoon as the light disappears earlier and earlier and appears later and later in the morning, I remember my childhood days in New England. As my carpool colleagues and I drive home each day, I marvel at the Christmas lights adorning yards and homes. I also laugh at overblown Rudolphs and snowmen and Santas and reindeer; most of these are so out of scale in the smallish Chicago front yards. This weekend I saw a yard decoration and as I looked more closely, I realized it was a Christmas Dachshund, like this one:
I have been praying for peace during these days of protests in our country. The unrest sparked by recent court decisions (or non-decisions) leaves me in a state of unrest as well. "How long, O Lord?" As I sing the Advent hymns, asking for Emmanuel ("God-with-us") to come into our hearts and into our world, I find that too often it seems that God feels strangely absent in it all, kind of like a "God-not-with-us." Yet I know deep down that God is most present when I sense this lack of presence. Kind of a strange paradox, don't you think?
As our days here at WLP become seemingly busier and busier, I am so grateful for the work that the dedicated members of our staff accomplish in these days. Our hope, of course, is that our work is making a difference in parishes. Our hope is that, even in times of unrest and a seeming lack of God's presence, somehow the music and prayer resources we publish will reach into that unrest and keep the promise of peace alive.
Gotta sing. Gotta pray.