Slowly Prepare And Anticipate
I am returning from my three week blog rest. I took that rest because too many things were going on in my life during that time and blogging was actually becoming stressful. I think I am ready to return and Advent seems like the perfect time to do so. Advent begins a new Liturgical Year, so first off: Happy and Blessed New Year to you all. Those of you who responded to my last post and asked for a patron saint, they are in your e-mail so please be sure to check. If anyone else would like a patron saint for this year, just tell me so in the comments and I will be happy to prayerfully choose one for you. (The saints really do the choosing.) So business being taken care of, here are my thoughts on this blessed season...
I love Christmas, but I love the fact that God, through His Church, has given us this four week season to prepare and anticipate Jesus' coming both at the end of time and at Christmas. It forces us to slow down. If you watch TV for even 15 minutes you will see the world just wants to jump right to Christmas and it is not because they are in a rush to celebrate Our Savior's birthday!
I don't like to rush with decorations either; the only thing out in my home right now is my Advent wreath. The rest will come out gradually during the third and fourth weeks of this beautiful and sacred season.
More important than preparing my home, is preparing my soul to receive Jesus at Christmas. I always make it a point to go to confession early in the season. This year my parish is especially blessed to have the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal come and give a parish mission December 8-10. I am waiting to go to confession with one of the friars. The primary reason for their coming is that December 8th of this year is the 15th anniversary of our parish's Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration chapel. If you are anywhere in the vicinity of St. John the Apostle Church, Clark/Linden, New Jersey, please join us for the mission.
Advent reading is also part of my preparations. I am not sure what I will use yet, but I will let God lead me in that area. I have a book of Advent essays and In Conversation With God by Fr. Francis Fernandez on my shelf so I may use one or both of those.
Let us take these four weeks to slow down, and spend some time with the God who came to save us because Jesus is Emmanuel~God with us.
May you all have a blessed and fruitful Advent.
*Note: Up in my stand alone pages you will find a link for Advent Reflections. I wrote these last year during the Advent season and thought I would put them up again for this season.