I have dipped my toes in the chaos of the Christmas-before-Advent scene. I’ve been to the mall once.
I’ve landed on radio stations that play Christmas music around the clock – and quickly popped in my Rosary CD to escape the noise. I’ve seen enough of commercialized Christmas even though I have actively avoided it this year.
Advent is the only antidote.
But Advent only comes to those who know how to get quiet. It hides from those who have to hurry. It will never be found in the crowded places and packed spaces of shopping aisles and city crosswalks.
Advent waits to be invited to your December. It will not show up on its own. It is a polite guest. It will not crash your party.
Christmas-without-Advent is a fake. An imposter. We all know it.
The Christmas we all need – the one we long for – the one we can imagine so clearly . . . it only comes to those who walk alongside Mary.
In the quiet.
Away from the crowds.
Where Sacred Scripture comes alive and holiness is real.
It’s no mirage – this Advent journey. It’s necessary. It’s the way to Christmas. The only road to Bethlehem.
The journey that leads to Christ.