In North Central Kansas the sunset occurs at around 5 pm giving us less daylight hours in order to accomplish the work that needs to get done. Praise God for the technology of electricity so that we are able to get around without fumbling in the dark. This darkness is a great sign of advent. The Advent Wreath that we use in our homes and in our parish is the sign of waiting for the light to come into the world. As we approach Christmas Day there is less and less daylight until we have the least amount on December 22, the winter equinox. This less daylight is like when we get farther and farther away from Christ we learn how we depend upon His light to guide us in the dark times. Our world is filled with much darkness as we see tragic shootings and bombings occurring throughout the world, people being hurt in natural disasters and lives being lost through horrific crimes. This darkness means there is a great absence of Christ. Without Christ there is darkness. The world naturally gets darker every year at this time but it is a natural, visible sign of how important the sun, or the Son, is in our life. Without Christ there is a darkness that brings discord, mistrust, and ultimately war in the world. Without Christ personally in our lives there is an inner battle about what voice do we follow in the world and who do we trust. With Christ we follow only him, in the darkness we turn to him to lead and guide us to eternal salvation. With Christ the war within is a war against temptation in order to free us from the slavery that we step into when we give our selves over to our passions. This war is won when we place our lives into the power of Christ and count on his "daily bread" in our prayer and especially in the sacraments. May Christ be our light and may we follow only His light in our life.