This is one reason why God sends us Feasts -- to lift our sodden perspectives out of the pragmatic points of view.
The Nativity is coming next Saturday. It should be a day when brightness is launched, as a long-awaited surprise, in the cave of our present darkness.
This week, in prayer, we do what the Church has always done in uncertain times: we become even more Marian, and we ask her for help in prayer.
I am suggesting to you, as I have to my parishioners, to pray this at least once per day, best at the end:
A Prayer for the Week before Christmas
O Lady, Bride of God, virginal, pure, immaculate, blameless, without stain or disgrace, who through your birth-giving united God the Word with our human nature, and established a link between our fallen state and the things of heaven:
O you, only hope of the hopeless, help of the oppressed, ready protection of those who flee to you and refuge of all Christians:
Despise me not a sinner, who have defiled myself with unclean thoughts, words and deeds, and in my laziness have become a slave to the passions of life.
Since you are the Mother of God, who is the only Lover of Mankind, have mercy and compassion on me, as sinner and prodigal son: accept this prayer from my impure lips, and with the power of your maternity, beg your Son, my Lord and God, that He may open for me the depths of His loving-kindness, forgive my countless sins, convert me to true repentance, and make me faithful to His commands.
O you who are compassionate, be my constant companion: in this present life, be with me as an intercessor, as a powerful help to turn away the assaults of my enemies, and to guide me to salvation.
At the hour of death, be with me to embrace my poor soul, and to keep away the dreadful sight of Satan; on the awesome day of judgment, deliver me from eternal punishment and make me an heir of your Son's glory, through the grace and love for mankind of your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
To Him and to His Eternal Father, and to His All-Holy, Good and Life-giving Spirit, we give glory, honor and adoration, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.
(Prayer of Paul the Cenobite to the Theotokos)