"This Advent will never come again...the graces of this day will never come again. The opportunities for being loving and humble and generous and self-forgetful in this day will never come again....
His first word on this great Advent mission to announce and then to reveal the coming of Christ, linking the whole Old Testament to the New, is, "Repent!" (Mt. 3:2) It is an Advent word. He goes on to say very sternly to the Pharisees and to us, "Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance.""
-Mother Mary Francis, P.C.C.
I don't know about other mothers but a whole lot of what I grieve in the confessional are the ways I've failed my children. Harsh words, unfair expectations, criticisms, yelling. I never ever would have considered myself an angry person. That is, until I had kids. It was humbling and shocking that my temper was so easily enflamed, that my self-control was nowhere near what I thought it was. I have the opportunity to love the Christ child right here in my own home and so often I fail. I will never again have this day with my children (and we're grateful for that sometimes, aren't we? ;). Today, again, I will commit to no harsh words, angry outbursts, or criticism. It's a reminder I need often. I'll apologize to them and I'll attempt with extra kind words, encouragement, snuggles, and patience to replace those biting words with words of life and love, my evidence of repentance.
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