However, when my sickness progressed through November into December, I felt very disappointed and even a little agitated at God (be merciful to me, O' Lord). I knew my frustration was unjust however I felt so helpless in the face of my tribulations. Nevertheless, some time last week, the Lord opened my heart to His grace and brought light into the darkness of my mind.
I learned, through my weakness, that the month of December is not about Christmas parties, drinking hot chocolate with your loved ones, or going to the stores to see Christmas pageantry. Those things are not evil but during the Nativity Fast/Advent, we should remember the penitential nature of the fast/season. This year, I have not been able to partake in any of these enjoyments however I thank God for the sickness that He has given me.
I will conclude with the following words which are proclaimed in the Divine Liturgy, words that have brought me a great amount of comfort,
"O Holy God, Who is resting among the holy ones, praised by the Seraphim with the thrice-holy voice, glorified by the Cherubim, and worshiped by every celestial power, You have brought all things into being out of nothing. You have created man according to Your image and likeness and adorned him with all the gifts of Your grace. You give wisdom and understanding to the one who asks, and You overlook not the sinner, but have set repentance as the way of salvation. You have granted us, Your humble and unworthy servants, to stand even at this hour before the glory of Your holy Altar of sacrifice and to offer to You due worship and praise. Master, accept the Trisagion Hymn also from the lips of us sinners, and visit us in Your goodness. Forgive all our voluntary and involuntary transgressions, sanctify our souls and bodies, and grant that we may worship You in holiness all the days of our lives, through the intercessions of the holy Theotokos and of all the saints who have pleased You throughout the ages."