The College of Saint Benedict has been known as the Advent Capital of the World—no Christmas activities, music, decorations. Well, it used to be the capital. With Christmas ads on TV, tree decorating, parties, shopping beginning before Thanksgiving, this title clashes with today’s reality. Rather than crying out “defeat” about holding the Advent spirit, let’s focus on light that usually accompanies the early Christmas events. Days begin to give us longer light. The feast of St. Lucy celebrates Christ as the Light of the World. We bring brightness to people through lighthearted events. Decorative strings of bulbs give light—often colorful—into our lives. Even our failures, personal and communal, can give opportunities for light to slip in. Leonard Cohen offers us the light of hope: “There is a crack…in everything/ That’s how the light gets in” (“Anthem”). Light and hope—let’s open these Advent gifts.
By Mary Reuter, OSB