Candles Sitting on Snow by TreeI live in Chicago. Mid-December is a cold, dark time of year here. Yesterday the sun rose at 7:13 a.m. and set at 4:21 p.m. Snow covers the ground and roof tops.

Perhaps more than any other time of year, at this season I am keenly aware of the many forms of darkness. It can look like poverty, illness, imprisonment, hunger, war, and depression. Sometimes darkness appears as loneliness, addiction, or estrangement from loved ones. We all experience darkness at different times and in different ways.

But beneath the myriad forms of darkness, Advent offers us hope and light in the person of Jesus Christ, the Light of the World. The Advent O Antiphons offer us a beautiful prayer to pray during dark times. Whether or not you find yourself in darkness at the moment, consider praying this Advent prayer in the name of people around the world who are in need of the light that only Christ can give.

O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice: come and shine on those who dwell in darkness and in the shadow of death.