Dear St. Martin’s Parishioners,
Happy Advent! We celebrate this short but powerful season during the darkest days of the year. The absence of light that characterizes these weeks reminds us of the possibility of life without Christ. Many people live without the grace, truth and love of Christ. They live in the pain of meaninglessness, unredeemed suffering, suffocating isolation, and the frigidity of anger, unforgiveness and the rejection of love. These are serious and real spiritual afflictions, ones which threaten an enveloping darkness over life. In response, we light our Advent candles. It seems like a small and insignificant act, but in reality it’s the most powerful response to the darkness of evil. We must yield to Christ’s light in our lives, allowing him to permeate the darkest recesses of our souls, permitting him to warm the places still cowering in fear, resentment and unforgiveness. Certainly, this is a sentimental season, but God desires it to be spiritually powerful and transformative. He alerts us to the encroachment of darkness in our lives, so that we may freely, wholly and determinedly turn to Christ, the Light of the World, God made man.
We have purchased new hard cover St. Michael Hymnals for English Masses which we debut on this first Sunday of the new liturgical year. I think you will find the hymn selection beautiful and sacred. Please treat the hymnals with care, as we hope they will last us more than a couple years.
Our Advent calendar of activities is chock full, as you will see in my Christmas letter. I simply want to alert you to our first Advent event, which is a talk by Mrs. Victoria Schneider at 6:15pm on Saturday, December 3 in the parish hall. Vicky, who is a parishioner at St. John Neumann, has written a beautiful book, The Bishop of the Abandoned Tabernacle. She will be speaking on her book, which is about the life and spirituality of St. Manuel Gonzalez Garcia (a contemporary saint who needs to be better known!). She will have books for sale in English and Spanish after the talk, and they make for great Advent reading!