While this year has held many graces, it has also presented many challenges. Combined with the regular, every day busy-ness of December preparing for Christmas, it might have been very difficult to enter properly into the Advent season. I was fortunate to have been able to attend a day of recollection at Kolbe Academy & Trinity Prep in Napa. The priest giving the retreat shared something that I found very valuable. He said that a spiritual director had given the advice that in difficult times, you need to do four things:
- Find God
- Cling to Him
- Listen to Him
- Do His will
These would obviously be sage advice at any time, but I’ve found them to be particularly relevant for me this Advent season. How can I find God in the midst of everything that is going on? Am I making enough time to try to find Him?
Clinging to God
The second point has been particularly important to me. During this Advent, I so desperately need to cling to Him. It is so easy to simply try to rely on my own strength to get through the challenges I face. However, it is in submitting to Him and clinging to Him desperately that I find peace and consolation.
I have always found listening to be a challenge, particularly at this time of year, when it feels like everything around me is so loud. Even when that “everything” is all good, such as being surrounded by family and friends, it can be challenging to hear that still, quiet voice in the midst of the noise.
In focusing on the first three points, I have found it much easier to then follow His will in this Advent season. As the Church has prayed the ‘O Antiphons’ in this final week leading up to Christmas, I have found it easier to pray “O come, O come, Emmanuel,” asking Jesus to personally enter my everyday life, to be part of me and everything I think, say, and do.
This year has been a wonderful year at Kolbe Academy. We’re delighted to have been able to serve you and your families. We also look forward to all that we will be able to offer you in 2018.
We pray that you will find God, cling and listen to Him, and will find it ever easier to say yes to His will for you in your life. Have a blessed remainder of the Advent season, a grace-filled Christmas season, and a very joyous New Year!
God bless you!
Mary Rowles, Executive Director