We share an Advent message recently received from Christine M. Wohar, Executive Director of FrassatiUSA…
Dear Frassati Friend,
I am definitely an Advent person. Someone asked me recently when I start listening to Christmas music. My answer was, “On Christmas Day, of course!” Letting Advent be Advent and Christmas be Christmas gets harder and harder each year but swimming against the cultural tide is good for building a few spiritual muscles. And we know Blessed Pier Giorgio was all about building spiritual muscles.
One of the readings I look forward to hearing during the Christmas season has the unintended consequence of helping me stay spiritually focused during the Advent season. That may not make logical sense or chronological sense but it is true. It is part of the line found in the gospel of Matthew, chapter 2, verse 12 at the conclusion of the story of the visit of the Magi to Baby Jesus. It is one of my most favorite lines in scripture. “And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way.”
Another translation says, “they went home by another way.” That is actually how I remember it and like to meditate on it. What it means to me is that my preparations to meet the Christ Child and to meet Our Lord when He comes again should be transformative. When Advent ends, I should be changed. I should not be leaving the season the way I started it. I should be going home by another way, a better way; I should have a richer encounter with the Lord this year than I did the year before.
In early January 1925, the last year of his life, Pier Giorgio wrote to his good friend Franz Massetti, “Upon your return you will find a changed Robespierre; and in fact during Advent I prepared for the Holy Year by reading St. Augustine…” (Robespierre was the nickname given to Pier Giorgio by his friend Marco.) I don’t know about you but it motivates me to know that Pier Giorgio spent his last Advent season doing spiritual reading to prepare to be an even better man in the new year. He wasn’t satisfied unless he was drawing even closer to the Lord; he was always striving for greater holiness.
Frassati Friend, this is a very short Advent but there is still time to fast and pray and read and prepare to celebrate that awesome moment when Heaven comes down to earth. Let your spiritual GPS reroute you. And this Christmas, ask Blessed Pier Giorgio to lead you home by another way.