We are now on the cusp of the Vigil of Christmas. We have made it, ready or not, through the four weeks of Advent – waiting, praying, watching for Our Lord’s coming.
In the morning, my teenage son and I will wake up early and do a few very important things. First, we will go to Mass. If you are reading this, please pay heed to these words. Although the daily Mass is not obligatory for anyone, I cannot imagine why anyone – let alone any man with a wife and children – wouldn’t move heaven and earth to avail himself of this greatest treasure. Remember, He came among us as a Babe specifically to die for us as a Man, to ransom us from our sins. Every day He gives us to come to His altar, His Calvary, to worship Him.
We’ll probably go for a little breakfast. Have to nourish ourselves for the day ahead.
Then we will head to the cemetery to visit the grave of a man we never knew.
After I moved here I discovered the story of a police officer who died in the line of duty. He was ambushed and murdered by the notorious gang, the Texas Seven, on Christmas Eve. He had been eating dinner at an Olive Garden with his young son when he responded to the radio call of a robbery in progress. He was nearby. He said goodbye to his boy and headed to his demise. My boy and I have taken to visiting his grave on Christmas Eve, his anniversary, laying down some flowers, and offering prayers for his soul. It reminds us both of the fragility of life which reminds us of something I find myself saying to him (and anyone else who will listen): Stay confessed!
A family gathering with my wife’s mother’s side of the family and then…
Midnight Mass. At midnight!
There’s still plenty to do before then. Presently, my daughter and I are watching yet another Hallmark Christmas movie. It’s become our thing. Again I say, if you give me two hours of gratuitous beauty shots of a farmhouse in Connecticut covered in snow, I’ll watch.
And just this minute, as I was writing these lines, trying to come up with something eloquent at this late hour, after a day of errands, a bit of fasting, and a healthy amount of prayer, just trying to unwind amid the relative peace of these final hours of Advent; I got some wonderful news.
A new baby just arrived! My nephew – he of whom I sometimes write – he and his wife just welcomed their second child (both boys) at a few minutes to midnight on the East Coast. Apparently, God thinks the world should go on for now. God bless the young boy and his family.
St. John Cantius, pray for us!