Prepare for the Christ Child

Nativity scene with Magi

How do we prepare our hearts for you, Jesus? Or do we understand our need to prepare? Are we more likely to hurry around once you’re here, trying to focus on this guest we weren’t expecting?

Will we be ready when you appear there in the manger? Or will our hearts and minds be so focused on our immediate struggles that we’re unprepared to receive eternal hope and grace?

Will we recognize you? Or will we be looking for a savior of our own making? One who is powerful maybe, who can rule the world by force if necessary? Will we be looking for a savior who looks like we do in race, culture, or religion?

Will we stop and gaze upon you, forgetting everything else for just a few moments? Or will we be too distracted by credit card bills, the fallout of family gatherings, the extra pounds we’ve gained, and all the things we want to buy and do in the coming year?

Will we journey through all sorts of weather and landscape just to get a glimpse of you? Or if it’s just too hard to get to the manger, will we flip through the TV channels one more time, get a snack, put on comfortable clothes, and get lost in consoling fantasies?

How will we prepare our hearts for the Christ Child?

About Vinita Hampton Wright 110 Articles
Vinita Hampton Wright has served as senior editor at Loyola Press for 16 years and recently became managing editor of the trade books department. She has written various fiction and non-fiction books, including the novel Dwelling Places with HarperOne, Days of Deepening Friendship and The Art of Spiritual Writing for Loyola Press, and most recently, The St. Teresa of Avila Prayer Book for Paraclete Press. Vinita is a student and practitioner of Ignatian spirituality, and from 2009 to 2015 she blogged at Days of Deepening Friendship. For the past few years, she has co-led small groups through the 19th Annotation of the Spiritual Exercises. She lives in Chicago with her husband, three cats, and a dog. In her “spare” time these days, she is working on her next novel.

6 Comments on Prepare for the Christ Child

  1. Oh what a perfect world it would be if we could just concentrate on the Spiritual of this Holy Season and forget about all the commercialism. I am old , live alone so one would think that “I” might be able to do this! I have tried very hard to, especially this year; with your help (Thank you), yet even I get caught up too much in the nonsense.One just does the best one can. Love your Reflections. A.M.D.G.

    • A.M.D.G.~
      You say you live alone – is this by choice, happenstance, or perhaps divine intervention? I pray you are not lonely.
      May Christ our Savior bless you abundantly this Season and beyond, may His joy and love be your sufficiency.
      Pax

  2. I guess from the posts above that I’m reading this way after it was first printed. But that’s all to the good. Thank God that this year I have been “doing” this retreat and so preparing myself better than other years for the coming of the baby. Reading is my consoling fantasy. I read a lot…not always edifying or inspirational books. I haven’t stopped that entirely, but in including this retreat and quiet time with the Lord, I feel like I’ve begun to focus more on my spirituality and my relationship with God. All to the good. God is good.

  3. Dear Dave, thank you for asking. Perhaps ALL three of those reasons you mentioned. I am a widow of long standing , none of my adult children live anywhere near. All are busy with their own lives. My one daughter( who was/is such a blessing ) has been living o/sea for many many years, but I see her every year, unlike my sons There is an old saying : your son is your son ,till he takes a wife .Your daughter is your daughter is your daughter all of her life” She now has a very ill husband. One of my siblings a much younger brother rings me every week and comes to see me for a day about twice a year.He used to come often , but now travels a lot. I am especially sad at this time of the year, The Advent retreats and prayers have been a blessing to me. I wish all a Very Holy & Happy Christmas. A.M.D.G.My health problems have stopped me from travelling! I am 80yrs

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