With all the wild shopping, the bargains, the traffic, the crowds, and gobs of money spent (that you don't have normally,...no wait, that you don't have period!), one would think that it was the end of the world! Hmm, think about it, the end of the world, yes possibly it is, every year we reach this point of time when one hears about the end of the world. It brings about thoughts of loud noises, flashing lights, storms of crowds running everywhere in anticipation of a huge climax; however, in the distance singing, and folks raising themselves up to our God in praises and love. Wow, doesn't that sound rather familiar -- like modern-day Christmas season?

Well, it doesn't have to be like the end of the world, really. We have to look beyond and see the NEW world, the day after, if you will. With each season of Advent, comes a time to reflect and prepare for the new world, made new due our change of hearts and growing faith, hence giving us hope for our future. Our loving Father gave us hope when the angels proclaimed to the shepherds,"For Unto Us, A child is born" and it starts all over again for us in the new year filled with faith, hope, and charity. Without faith, as Pope Benedict XVI says in his new encyclical Spe Salvi, we have no hope. Hope gives us that "carrot" to go about our lives with Christ as the center, dying to ourselves. Being Christ-centered and not Self-centered.

May we all try to be more Christ-centered and less Self-centered during this time of year when we can be so caught up in the storm of consumerism and activities. Yes, we must celebrate, but let's refrain from overbooking our families, children, and even ourselves. Let's find a place in our daily schedules for "downtime."

I pray for this for all our families and loved ones this season.

Copyright 2010 Ebeth Weidner