Grace to you and peace from God our father and the Lord Jesus Christ.Romans 1:7
I’m excited that Christmas is almost here, but for the first time ever, I’m sad that Advent is almost over. For me, this has been the most fruitful Advent so far. With the St. Andrew Christmas Novena and the 33 Days to Morning Glory Marian Consecration, I’ve grown so much in prayer. Lately, the highlight of my day has been my time in prayer. Praying the St. Andrew Christmas Novena as soon as I wake up lets me begin my day by lifting my mind and heart to God. As I return to prayer later in the day, I enjoy my time with Jesus and Mary as I read 33 Days to Morning Glory and a little Advent devotional book before praying my rosary. I’m grateful that God blessed me with the grace to grow in prayer because it brought me so much peace this Advent.
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The fourth and last Advent candle represents peace. It’s is a common theme of Advent, considering that Christ’s coming grants us peace. Several Christmas songs contain lyrics about peace, and when the angels appear to the shepherds, they sing “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests” (Luke 2:14). Whether we’re aware of it or not, our hearts are always yearning and thirsting for God. He alone gives the peace that our restless hearts need. We might try to find peace and fill the God-sized hole in our hearts with other material things, but they’ll never work. No amount of money, clothes, food, relationships, or vacations will ever give us the peace that God offers. When we turn to him, genuinely seeking to be his, he embraces us in his love and gives us the peace that we desire. As long as we abide in him, he gives us his grace and peace that we as his children long for.
Looking back on this Advent, I should have been more stressed out. My anxiety levels should have been through the roof because I was preparing for and taking my final exams, I presented a quartet that I choreographed in the Fall Concert, I made the difficult decision to not go to graduate school, I’m looking for a job for after graduation, and I still have Christmas presents to make and buy even though I’m the definition of a broke college student. Despite all of this, I’ve been unusually calm. I truly felt the peace of God throughout this hectic December, and I’m thankful for that gift. For I think the first time in my life, I’ve been enjoying Advent as I looked forward to not only Christmas Day, but also completing the St. Andrew Christmas Novena, my Marian Consecration, and ultimately, when I meet Jesus Christ in Heaven. All of this is possible because I depended on God the whole time and allowed his peace to flood my life.
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