From Season of Promises
God says, “Do not blame yourself too much, thinking that your trouble and distress is all your fault. For it is not my will that you should be unduly sad and despondent.” (Julia of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love)
You got trouble and distress, I got trouble and distress, all God’s children got trouble and distress. So don’t feel like the Lone Ranger. Thing is, it is not God’s will that we should feel bummed out all the time. Someone said, “A sad Christian is a sad Christian.”
Why do we think that if we have “trouble and distress” it must be all our fault? Why are we so inclined to beat up on ourselves for the slightest reason? Advent is the season of hope and expectation, hope and quiet joy. Yet because Advent happens the same time as the Great Shopping Binge, we sometimes feel down, even depressed, if we can’t buy many expensive gifts for all kinds of people.
This is understandable. It’s a cultural thing, and we can’t separate ourselves from our culture, even if it is materialism run rampant. That’s the way it goes. What we can do is steep ourselves more in Advent as an antidote to the spirit of the Great Shopping Binge. We can expose ourselves more to the quiet spirit of Advent thus becoming less disturbed by any sadness or distress we may experience due to a financial inability to go on an unrestrained Shopping Binge for those we love.
Advent is the time to look forward to the blessings of love, forgiveness, and reconciliation that result from the coming of the Son of God and son of Mary into the world. This is what the weeks before Christmas are about. The more we focus on this, the less power the Great Shopping Binge will have over us. And the more joy we will know when Christmas does arrive.
Lord of Advent, I know you do not want me to be too sad about anything. Help me to turn my troubles and distresses over to you. Amen.