It is December and the early days of Advent.  I love Advent and welcome its coming. It is darkness yielding to light in the early morning as I wake and welcome a new day. It is candles I light in my wreath each early morn to dispel December’s gloom and welcome the new day.

This year, I need the hope of Advent and its days of longing, prayerful waiting and renewal. I need to find myself again in the joy of rebirth filling this season. Isaiah calls me to be just, faithful and a woman of peace, to listen and treasure the voice of the poor. Matthew calls me to listen, trust and rebuild my inner house with faith and trust in God.  I have known and loved these words in Advent’s past. This year, they are solace and new blessing to dispel the darkness of my early December days.

—Mary Burke-Peterson  is a parishioner at St. Nicholas Church, Evanston, an active volunteer in the Ignatian Spirituality Project, and a graduate student at Institute for Pastoral Studies at Loyola University.