Thanksgiving is behind us, two weeks of Advent have already passed, and Christmas and New Year’s Day are fast approaching. While we look forward to these holidays and Holy Days, many of us also struggle with feelings of discouragement, loss or sadness during this time. In a recent column, Bishop Loverde talks about these challenges, often called “the holiday blues.” You can find his column about dealing with these emotions here.
This topic gives us the opportunity to introduce to our blog audience Fr. Hoyos, the Director of the Spanish Apostolate. Father writes in Spanish on his popular blog. Here, Fr. Hoyos discusses the challenges that many feel in the holiday season:
This year, we may have passed several milestones in our lives: marriages, births, funerals, successful surgeries, new jobs, difficult news that we didn’t expect and many other surprises. Halloween, Thanksgiving and birthdays have gone by and we ask “where did the time go?”
When we look back and realize that months and years have passed, we may feel like we have not accomplished much. We can even feel discouragement and depression or blame ourselves for not taking advantage of time.
Especially during this holiday season, some are so discouraged that they begin to read self-help books, visit a psychologist, counselor or priest for words of encouragement, or simply try to stick to a goal and accomplish it. Sometimes, our goals are simple: get our Christmas cards written, finish up a project at work or reconnect with a friend. Sometimes, however, these quests can be quite serious: they may be to regain the will to live, the desire to turn our lives around, to intend to be better people and human beings, to be self sufficient. These goals require sacrifice, prayer, discipline, will power, perseverance and daily struggle; without these things we grow weak and succumb to difficulty.
In life there are good and bad experiences, positives and negatives. We should always surround ourselves with good friends. I’ve heard some people call it “good energy,” but really they mean positive and honest people. These are people that honestly love us and know how much we are worth, who listen to us. And, of course, Jesus Christ should be near us always in prayer, especially through going to Mass.
And so, as we prepare during Advent for the coming of Christmas, we should remember that if we fail in reaching our goals, it does not mean that we cannot achieve others. We have within us the ability to be happy and we know the reason to stay alive – Jesus Christ!
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