It is Christmas eve and warm and rainy in Bruges, Belgium. Expectancy, wonder and awe fill the cozy warm Béguinage church. The altar is ready and waiting with a delicate,white, virginal lace-bordered cloth and simple arrangements of roses, yellow and pink. The alabaster descent from the cross is covered with tapestry befitting a coming King. In front of the starlit Nativity, three sisters say the rosary to a quiet and silent church. The tourists and travelers are elsewhere on Christmas Eve. The straw laden manger is empty and waiting. Expectancy, wonder and awe fill the waiting church. I had not thought of these ideas (or worse had perhaps forgotten them) in the rush of other Christmases. Now, I realize I had no idea what to expect here at the Béguinage at Christmas. I had no idea there was a day of silence and no idea there would not be a decorated Christmas tree; I really had and have no idea of anything. Advent is the traditional time of expectancy but how long had it been since I had really felt expectant. Since I know nothing of what will happen next at the Béguinage, I feel expectant waiting and hoping. The shepherds must have felt wonder and expectancy; they had only a star and a message from some angels. The wise men had a star but what did they know of what awaited them? Nothing. This year I feel this expectancy of what the God of the universe did on this night; the God made Man. How incredible! In a world, desperate for peace and love. I wish you expectancy hope and joy.