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“A new year has begun, O Lord, and again with the turning of the year we begin anew our pilgrimage toward Christmas. Our hearts as ever  rejoice in the glad tidings of Christ who is born in Bethlehem to be the Savior of all the word. Yet with all our joy, and the long centuries behind us of hearts made glad by His coming, we know there is much in us that deafens our ears to the sound of angel anthems, much that blinds us to the sight of guiding stars amid the darkness, much that crowds our hearts and minds, leaving little room for the humbler benedictions of this life. If repentance can purify our hope; if for this season we may become pure hearted; if now we can welcome you with all our soul, then grace us with your most wondrous blessing through Christ who was born to be the light of the world forever.”

“Anonymous” prayer in The Secret Christmas: An Anthology of the Hidden Joy of Christmas by Terence Handley MacMath (2013).