HomedotMagisReflectionsPrepare for the Christ Child

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?

Vinita Hampton Wright
Vinita Hampton Wrighthttp://www.loyolapress.com/authors/vinita-hampton-wright
Vinita Hampton Wright edited books for 32 years, retiring in 2021. She has written various fiction and non-fiction books, including the novel Dwelling Places and spirituality books Days of Deepening Friendship, The Art of Spiritual Writing, Small Simple Ways: An Ignatian Daybook for Healthy Spiritual Living, and, most recently, Set the World on Fire: A 4-Week Personal Retreat with the Female Doctors of the Church. Vinita is a spiritual director and continues to facilitate retreats and write fiction and nonfiction. She lives with her husband, two dogs, and a cat in Springdale, Arkansas.


  1. We are all lucky people in this group to have God in our lives. He is only ever a whisper away unlike so many of the people we love and miss.

  2. This is lovely, Vinita, and I am overjoyed I subscribed to this site. I have been trying my best this coming Advent, but I feel as if I always fall short.

  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

    • Dear Meg;
      I understand and empathize with you. I am an only child and nearly everyone has passed away. I just lost two very close friends before Thanksgiving. My son and daughter live in other states, and we are all estranged ( my eternal prayer to the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart is a reconciliation). I am very fortunate and blessed, however, that I will be spending Christmas Day with cousins; there is only one that I am in touch with. I will lift a prayer of healing for your health problems. God Bless, everyone.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Loretta Pehanich
Marina Berzins McCoy
Tim Muldoon