I recall years ago when I cut back radically on my consumption of processed sugar. It took quite a while, but I did eventually notice a difference in my health. I was even able to reduce my cholesterol down to normal levels (at least that is what the blood tests showed). Sometimes it takes an actual separation from something for us to see that same "something" more clearly. There is something that many of us separate ourselves from during Advent, and (unlike the effects of too much sugar) I hope you long for it to return!
Most likely, you have been doing something to get yourself ready for Christmas. Whether you are planning the feast for Christmas Day, or the family get-together, trying to work out travel plans, or even getting yourself ready for some portion of the Christmas Masses, we all build that anticipation and we get running with it until we barely notice what it has done to us. Are you feeling overwhelmed? There are many reasons why we can get caught up in the pre-Christmas season.
Furthermore, there may be other details that cloud our minds at this time of year. Maybe you are not getting along with someone? Maybe you have a difficult situation that you are praying for? Or, maybe you had a loved one pass away this last year and you feel you cannot get it out of your mind? We all need to realize that the Devil wants to keep you from finding what Christ has to offer at Christmas.
In all the activity of this time of year, we forget that Advent, as a preparatory season, is to help us to do two things, and do them well. First, we are to get ready to worship the Lord at Christmas; to "lift up our hearts" to Him more than before. Second, we are to get ready to receive from Him. No, not receive a mere physical gift, but something far better. We are supposed to be getting ready to receive His greatest gift. This gift is at the very heart of our salvation that He gives us. Yet, if we do without it for a long time, we do not always notice it is gone; and when we do notice, then we should desire it that much more.
It is the gift of peace. He is, after all, called the "Prince of Peace". He is the One Who accomplishes peace in this world. He is the One Who is able to bring peace where it is needed. He is the One Who can grant us the eternal peace between us and God the Father. Yet, all of those senses of "peace" are to be found primarily in our souls. He wants you to have peace; a peace with God, and a peace with your circumstances. No matter what they may be, no matter how hard it may seem to find it, this is His goal.
Jesus is, in Himself, our peace. Make sure you have been getting ready for Him. Make sure you finish it up, soon, so that on Christmas His peace can enter you like it never has before. You can find peace, because Jesus is "the Prince of Peace" and He is the One in control of true peace.
My dear brothers and sisters, "Peace be with you".