At the risk of sounding like Scrooge, I fully intend to shoot Rudolph and mount his head, red nose and all, over my mantelpiece this holiday season. And I really don’t mind sounding like Scrooge, the immortal Dickens character from A Christmas Carol. His complaints are compelling, and we can laugh at them in a detached way. But the reason we really like him is that he is a convert. When he falls to his knees, he brings us to our knees along with him. We always rejoice at the end of that story in its countless retellings because a soul has been rescued from hell.
In the meantime, we live through a form of hell that ironically begins the day after Thanksgiving. The secular world calls it the Holiday Season. The Catholic Church calls it Advent. The two are starkly different, but the one thing they have in common is suffering. One group has started early with the Christmas cheer, and they wonder why they are so miserable. The other group is waiting, waiting, anticipating the great day, and the wait is hard. Advent is supposed to be a mini-Lent, a time of prayer and penance and abstention. Let’s talk about all three, not in that order.Suffering Advent – Catholic World Report