Advent is a time, Pope Benedict XVI once said, to retrace the paths of old and "make the light that illuminated the stable in Bethlehem shine anew in our lives." The world was in a dark place during Mary's pregnancy 2,000 years ago, but God reentered the world and gave it hope. So too can God reenter our world and our lives, despite the darkness, to give us light and hope.
Staying close to the Blessed Mother during Advent can help the Lord recreate us. The trust and warmth that Mary felt are all experiences we too can have. Maybe we can recite the words of the old hymn, Ah, Her Smile, during this season...
Ah, Her smile makes Heaven rejoice, eyes of Saints to glisten,
Even Angels at Her voice, hush their harps to listen,
And the light of Mary's eyes, adds a bliss to Paradise.
Keep your joys, oh ye unseen, we would wish no other.
Angels, you may call Her Queen; you cannot call Her Mother.
Chorus: Mother Mary, we turn to Thee, O let us then Thine own true children be.
At the gate on reaching home, you will find Her standing;
She will be the first to come, and meet you on the landing.
At our weary exile's end, Mother, o'er our pillow bend.
Show us at our dying breath, Him we call our Savior.
In our life and in our death, O be to us a Mother.
Christians, though your storm-toss'd bark, on the sea yet linger,
Can you call the way too dark shown by Mary's finger?
Timid soul, where'er you are, She will be your guiding star.
In Her presence nothing harms, tempest may not smother;
Throw yourself into Her arms, you cannot doubt your Mother!