Yesterday was Gaudete Sunday, the third Sunday of Advent. As Father Ed pointed out in his homily, Gaudete is a Latin word, the plural imperative form. Gaudete Sunday does not mean, "A Sunday on Which You May Rejoice," but rather, "Hey you! Rejoice! Do it! Today!"
A few months ago, the fourth day of my cycle was not a particularly happy day for me, especially because my feeling of hopelessness was deepening with each passing month. I've been praying throughout the autumn for the gifts of faith and hope, that I might be able to trust God and not worry about the future, and I feel that this gift has been granted me in a renewed sense of joy. I always get excited this time of year, but the joy I felt yesterday as we sang "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" was not because of our trees or presents or even because of the pending family time. It was a much bigger joy, a joy in the palpable presence of the risen Lord. As I saturated myself in his Word and knelt eagerly for the consecration, I knew without a doubt that this is a gift. It is a gift that I did not earn, could never earn, but for which I am immensely grateful. Even though I know that the future may hold suffering and heartache, that we may not have a child for years and years, I am not afraid right now. I'm trying to hold onto this joy for as long as I can.
In other news, I have three final exams this week, so I probably won't be writing much. (Of course, I said that the week I had all those papers, and I posted a lot then, so who knows?) After finals are over, time snowballs right into Christmas, so I think that the rest of the month will be marked by a paucity of posts. Cross your fingers for me that I'll do well on my tests!