I think we need to spend some time with Mary, the real Mary, because she helps us understand what it means to be a person of faith in a dark time.
This Advent, could John the bedraggled saint point us to a better way? Can we let the recovering addicts, those who have done the work and kept coming back, can we let them be our guides? Can we trust even the unexpected signs? They point toward the inexact work of setting our hope beyond ourselves.