US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Prayers for Christmas mobs

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Christ is born and we can see him in each passerby.

By Guest Blogger Jim Conniff

How about respectfully expanding the meaning of Advent? We've embarked on a season of waiting for the Christ Child.

I suggest, therefore, that we try to see Him on His way in every other human being we encounter in these holy weeks and offer a silent prayer to the Christ Child for that person, whether or not we know her or him. It would slow us down somewhat in the mobs of people and remind us to honor His Coming Birth.

The way this idea came to me may sound pretentious, but I like to think the Spirit aimed me.

One Christmas I saw a grown man being so dominated by his mom at every turn that my first reaction was to pity the guy. But I realized how little I knew about what might have provoked what I was seeing. The issue in their case was just getting colored lights up and running on trees in front of the house in time for Advent.

In that instant, it struck me there was something I could do: Pray for both of them. I could offer a prayer that they might swap the hassling for just loving each other and praying for each other, if it might help them move in the direction of love.

From this situation, I got the idea to pray for whatever challenge to inner peace might load this or that passerby. I figured that all the prayer necessary would be "God bless you, friend." Who knows? Any one of them might be Christ—especially around now.

Guest Blogger Jim Conniff is a reader from Upper Montclair, New Jersey.

Read more blogs about Advent and Christmas traditions at Submit a guest blog to We may put this together into a holiday theme Meditation Room for the magazine next year. Any reflections selected for publication will win $50!

Guest blog posts express the views of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of U.S. Catholic, its editors, or the Claretians.