Advent is surely one of the most beautiful seasons of the Church year, "as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ"! The expectation, the holy preparation, all culminating in the wonderful feast of Christmas.
Let us use our imaginations to picture how Fr. Solanus would have entered into the joy of the Advent season. Since we know that he loved to play his violin (though supposedly it was not one of his better gifts!), we can safely assume that the strains of 'O Come, O Come, Emmanuel' were heard creaking from the chapel as he happily played for his Christ.
And of course there were the preparations for the soup kitchen, where loving service reigned supreme. Perhaps he peeled the potatoes with extra care, praying for those he would help feed as he chopped and diced. Perhaps his holy hands ached as he lifted heavy pots of boiling water, and he offered his pain up to God. Surely there was a glowing warmth, not only from the cooking, which permeated the friar's kitchen. For service to others was at the core of Fr. Solanus' spiritual life. It is said that he often missed meals himself because of his work, and fittingly this tall, gaunt man was described as "a man of prayer, spiritually chiseled."
As Advent stretches out before us, let us ask Fr. Solanus to help open our eyes to the ways in which we can serve others, whether strangers or those we interact with each day. May we greet Christmas day as he did, with our arms full of the blessings of kindness.
Ven. Solanus Casey, pray for us!