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Wow, it seems like a long Advent this year because Thanksgiving came so early…but it’s actually the opposite. It’s a very short Advent with Christmas Eve the next day after the last Sunday of Advent. It makes me reflect on the fact that our perspective on things can often be way off. From a worldly standpoint, the King of the Universe being refused a place in the Inn and being born in a dirty stable, looks like a definite fail. But we know there’s more to that story. Our Lord coming to us in such a humble way and humbly remaining with us in the Eucharist is likely not the way any playwright or movie producer might write it. And yet the majesty of Christ’s birth is amazing, attended by hosts of angels with the bright star to guide the wise men to Him. But the only ones made aware at the time were the most humble—the shepherds out tending their sheep. As we move through Advent toward entering into this mystery at Christmas, let’s take some time to be quiet. Let’s take some time to review our own life circumstances through a divine lens. So many of our challenges and fails may not be the disasters that we perceive them to be. That’s not to minimize the pain and sorrow we may feel. That’s very real and deserves our respect and attention. But we need to see God in these situations…hidden in the stable of our broken lives where all may seem to be dirty and shameful. Inviting this Infant King in will transform them into something beautiful and life giving. So many people, after leading sinful lives, filled with shame and remorse, feel unworthy to even ask for God’s mercy—to even be in the presence of His holiness. But Christmas teaches us something different. It’s in these very broken and messy places He longs to come so that we may be truly born again. Let that sink in. Wishing you and yours a most holy and joyful Christmas.
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Allison Ricciardi, LMHC

Founder and Director at The Raphael Remedy
Allison is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in practice since 1990. Allison has specialized in treating emotional disorders in individuals, couples and families and uses and trains clinicians in the Baars/Terruwe method.

Allison is also the Founder and President of www.CatholicTherapists.com, a nationwide network of dedicated Catholic therapists.
Allison Ricciardi, LMHC
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