It’s Monday of the very last week of the Church Year! This is it, y’all! It’s almost Advent. Are you ready for Advent? Do you have your:
• Advent Wreath? Have you got one that you reuse each year, or do you buy/make your own annually out of evergreen branches? It’s time to make sure you have one and that it is dusted off and ready for this Sunday.
• Advent Candles? I have not yet gotten mine, but I have heard that I can go to my local craft store to get them, so that will be easy enough. (My mother bought hers a long time ago and had them blessed at Candlemas. I am so jealous! I will do that next year!)
• Advent Calendar? This has been one of mine and my sister’s favorite Christmas-time traditions since we were very young. Advent starts on Dec. 1, so you can even use a secular Advent Calendar this season with the chocolate pieces in it, like my dear mother-in-law always gets me at this time of year. (Oh, it’s so fun to never quite grow up–I highly recommend it!)
• Advent music? While the stores are all playing “Silver Bells” and “Frosty the Snowman” right now, you can have your own playlist of Advent music going to celebrate this season of waiting and anticipation. I will be listening to the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles’ album Advent in Ephesus.
This is a very Marian season, where we meditate with the mother of Our Lord waiting for him in stillness during this time. I can think of no better way than to pray with Our Blessed Mother during Advent than with this music in the background!
• Advent reading? I have my Advent meditations book ready and waiting, Meditations for Advent by Jacques-Benigne Bossuet, but I am also reading PE-BXVI’s Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives. And I am in the midst of an Old Testament scripture study—during Holy Mass yesterday (Solemnity of Christ the King) I realized that it’s impossible to understand Christ’s Kingship without understanding the reign of David and the promises relating to the coming Messiah’s inheritance of the throne of David. Thus by prayer and study I hope to enter even deeper into an appreciation for the birth of our Savior this year.
I’m not the first to say this, and won’t be the last, but I can’t help myself since I’ve already been out shopping a little: isn’t it ridiculous how much frantic busyness, worry, and shopping panic goes on at this time of year, when it is supposed to be a period of quiet, watchful waiting?
I challenge you to add a little more silence to your life in these next four weeks of Advent. If that means waking up ten minutes earlier for prayer in the morning before everyone awakens, or turning off the lights and lighting a candle in the evenings while sipping hot chocolate together, do it: whatever helps your family remember that it’s not Christmas yet, it is time to rest and be at peace, awaiting the work of God that is better than we can imagine.