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December 3, 2023

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Driving back and forth from Anaheim to Dana Point, I have learned to time my drives so as to minimize the amount of time I spend sitting in traffic.  Most, if not all of us, don’t like to wait or be delayed. Yet, this Advent season is calling us to wait, be patient, and slow down.  

We wait primarily for the Lord’s return in glory.  We pray for that every time we pray the Our Father asking that “Thy kingdom come…”. We wait and prepare for the Lord’s return by striving to be holy, being people of prayer, receiving the sacraments regularly (especially confession), and loving our neighbor.  

We also are waiting for the annual celebration of Christmas when we recall God’s great love for us that He gave us His only son, born of the Virgin Mary, like us in all things but sin.  As tempting as it is to listen to Christmas music (I know the radio has been playing Christmas carols for a month) and decorate our tree, let us try to resist—waiting for the actual celebration and enjoying the Christmas season which extends through mid-January.  

This slower, waiting time is designed to allow us to focus on our prayer life.  You may wish to pray the rosary each day as this Advent season focuses on the Blessed Mother.  You may wish to read the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ conception, birth and childhood.  You may want to come visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. You may wish to listen to the beautiful Advent music that has enriched this season for centuries. No matter how you pray, let us make this Advent a time of prayerful waiting, longing for the Lord’s return and the celebration of His birth.  

Bishop Tim Freyer

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