I have always thought of Advent only in terms of Christmas, but for some reason this year I was able to focus on the readings for Mass last Sunday and BINGO I got it. Advent is not just about Christmas - it is also about the Second Coming of Christ. We celebrate, of course, that God took on a human form and stepped into our time and place...however, we LOOK for the His return.
So the past couple of days I have tried to remember (when the Nephew acts like a spoiled 3 year old instead of a 20 year old almost-army-man) that my goal has to be to get to heaven. When LOM on The Hive starts up his drunken rantings and accusations, I can 'stand erect' as Jesus instructs me and say clearly, "Your accusations are WRONG and I will no longer engage in a discussion with you; however, you are in my prayers".
I can also report his mouthy butt to the powers-that-be; I am a Catholic but I am no longer an abused woman, afraid of upsetting a verbally abusive man in case he might take a swing at me. Now my feelings, after all these years, are more in line with, "I forgive you. I love you. Take one step closer and I will knock you into next week, you weasel".
I take comfort in knowing that Mother Angelica, when describing the humility of St Rita, once commented on that holy woman preparing dinner for her abusive husband and cleaning up the mess when he drunkenly dumped her hard work on the floor, remarked, "That's why I had to become a nun. Any husband of mine that pulled that sort of thing would be wearing his dinner on his head".
I think this is going to be my goal for the next year - no more acceptance of abuse. Instead, I will politely inform the person(s) in my life who call me names, accuse me of dark and sinister motives or demand that I not talk to certain people because they don't want me to talk to them, that they are loved, prayed for and no longer directly acknowledged. If they want to throw tantrums - either in person or on line - they will be playing to an empty room. I am not impressed and I will not engage.
What a great way to expand my ability to be a woman of grace and dignity - to be Catholic, OUT LOUD.