Advent for Singles: A Season of Waiting


FirstWeekOfAdvent

Advent and the Christmas season can be a stressful time for singles. Visions of happy couples strolling hand in hand dance in their heads. Sometimes it can be hard to prepare joyfully for Christ’s birth when nearly every activity, invitation, and Christmas song reminds you that you are alone.

Pope Benedict (when he was Cardinal Ratzinger) wrote a beautiful meditation on the meaning of Advent for those who are sick or suffering, but it resonates beautifully for anyone, whether single or in a relationship. The Pope points out that it is precisely in moments of suffering that we come to understand more profoundly God’s love and mercy and in particular the significance of God coming to us as a tiny babe.

The Pope says that there are three key elements of Advent:  visitation (or presence); waiting; and joy.

Visitation. We need to see Advent as a visit from the Lord. Expecting visitors can be stressful, though joyful, and a visitation of illness is often seen as the antithesis of something joyful. Yet the Pope reminds us that you can find the joy when you see it as a visit from the Lord.

He suggests that we keep a mental diary during Advent, considering each moment in the day as a small gift, taking note of all the good things, the times during each and every day that the Lord visits us—every small joy. Another way to do this is to keep an actual diary, a “gratitude journal,” recounting moments when we experienced a visit from the Lord.

Advent is a time of waiting. Singles often find themselves waiting. Waiting to meet “the one.” Waiting to be in a relationship. Waiting to be done waiting. Yet we can learn from children, for whom waiting is really the best part. They wait in joyful wonder and anticipation for Christmas Day.

Pope Benedict reminds us that, for the Christian, each moment in time is significant, meaningful. Especially for those who suffer, there is no meaningless moment. Each moment is filled with God’s presence and His hope. He is already here, in a hidden way, in a way that points to a future joy. During Advent, we can seek the hidden blessing in each moment.

Advent is a time of joy. Pope Benedict tells us that our beautiful Advent customs are a form of prayer, rooted in Scripture. For example, “Then shall all the trees of the wood sing for joy before the Lord, for he comes” (Psalm 96). He points out particularly the Christmas tree, Christmas baking, and gift giving as ways to share our joy. When we share these customs with our friends and family, we are doing our part to bring Christ to others. Singles can immerse themselves in the many beautiful Advent customs, perhaps baking for neighbors and friends, bringing gifts to the needy or visiting those who are truly alone—those in nursing homes, prisons, or hospitals during the Christmas season. Most importantly, it is a time, as Pope Benedict writes, to “let the signs of God’s presence penetrate our souls.”






12 Comments

  1. Susan-100468 December 2, 2012 Reply

    The virtue of true love, to wait and do by grace, may God pray for our happiness!

  2. Kathy-304036 December 2, 2012 Reply

    Thank you for this beautiful article! It gives purpose, hope and the invitation to charity for singles.

  3. Brenda-74660 December 2, 2012 Reply

    This morning at Mass I felt so blessed because the music & the season is really touching my heart this year. Last year I was still numb & when I heard the music it just made me sad thinking about what I lost. This year it feels like I am finding joy in the little things once more….I thank God for touching my heart & healing the hurts….Jesus is the reason for this season…..I do agree with what my Parish Priest said this morning. The commercial aspect of Christmas is already in the stores, we have to work hard to find time to reflect on the true spiritual side of the Christmas season…….God Bless

  4. Winona-923537 December 3, 2012 Reply

    Yes, Jesus is the reason for th season!! It’s not easy with all the commercialism; in the stores, on TV..it is just bombarding all of us. I know that with God all things ae possible and each night I thank God as well as in the monring when I awaken. Some days I dread going out into the world for fear that others will see the pain and suffering I have inside, not because I am ashamed of God or what He has given me but because it has taken me so long to see that He has always been there for me and I was too busy looking to man for the love and guidance I had all the time!! Christmas is about the babe abd the joy He brings the world. As long as I concentrate on that, I can be whole!! Praise God and Thank you Jesus!!

    • Tonio R. December 21, 2012 Reply

      Hello Winona, love your comments. I go to Most Precious Blood in south east Denver

  5. Bev-672070 December 3, 2012 Reply

    Last year was hard with much sadness and loss, fear of the future incoming, but with my dedication and faithfullness to our lord and savior each and everyday his grace has kept me in his gracious hands as I made it through this year with more loss, yesterday in church I really felt the reason for the season and all the christians I know praying for me and others.
    Yes,Thank you Jesus for helping me now and always as I enjoy this Christmas season renewed and whole again for the coming year! Thank you God for blessing all us gals and guys on this site.

  6. Erica-923458 December 4, 2012 Reply

    Beautiful article!! Thank you for sharing, this gives me hope and joy!!

  7. Ria-923892 December 4, 2012 Reply

    my boyfriend for 5 years dumped me for another girl about a month ago. I’m still in the process of picking up the pieces and moving on. Reading this article helps me to stay positive despite my brokenness. I believe that GOD is just directing my path to something better. Thanks for sharing!

    • Carl-525558 December 21, 2012 Reply

      be positive everything will be great this year.

    • Mimi-875195 December 23, 2012 Reply

      Ria, I know it is hard. You are beautiful, and there IS something better to come, someone who really deserves you. But you need time to heal too. I’ll pray for you :)

  8. Jerah-862075 December 5, 2012 Reply

    Thanks. God bless.

  9. Elva-906803 December 23, 2012 Reply

    Such a precious message. This is what I love about this site.

Post a comment