As we are entering into the beginning of the church year with Advent, I was reflecting on ways to truly prepare the Way and not get caught up in the worldly frenzy. Somehow, “Black Friday” sounds more like a plague rather than the time we should be using to prepare for Advent. Therefore this Advent season, I would like to pass on to you one of the jewels I have learned to live by: KISS – “Keep It Simple Sweetie.”
I would like to offer some tips you can use to keep Advent simple and prepare the way for the Lord this Christmas:
- Prepare the same way you prepare for Easter! We have Lent and the journey to the cross before Easter and Christ’s Resurrection. The same is true for Advent. We should view Advent as the journey of preparation of Christ’s coming. It is a matter of rethinking how we “do” Christmas.
- Prepare the Way! One of the definitions I would like to use for prepare is “get ready”. If we really understand ADVENT, we would do Christmas differently. Advent is getting ready for Christ’s second coming. Last weekend I asked Fr. John Lulu if he had any words of wisdom to write for this article. He simply stated, “Prepare the way, Christ is coming; Prepare the way, Christ is coming; Prepare the way, Christ is coming.” As he was saying this, I felt a rush in my heart that we should get ready with a sense of urgency.
- So how do I get ready with a sense of urgency and remain peaceful? Begin the day with an Advent Devotion. Set some time aside each morning. It only will take as long as you want. Get up before everyone else and set time aside for the Lord. Some great Advent Devotions are The Word Among Us, or The Red Carpet, by Todd Lemieux on his Sainthood Project website.
- Say this short prayer of Mary, “Let it be done to me according to your Word” throughout the day. This idea is from Day 1 of the Sainthood Project. The challenge encourages us to say this prayer of Mary, at the beginning of every transition of the day. Every new meeting, every new event, every time you change your current activity, begins with this prayer. Make it the last thing you say before you go to bed.
- Commit to daily Mass and weekly Confession for the 4 weeks of Advent. How better to prepare our hearts for Christ than encountering Him in the Sacraments!
- Make the nativity set in your home more than just another Christmas decoration. Take time to pray through this sacred scene and allow God to show you something new about this familiar story. Download the nativity reflection at the end of this blog to aid in your prayer.
- Journal the moments of the day that inspired and blessed you. It is a great way to reflect and see how God is preparing your heart for Christ second coming!
Enjoy the Advent journey and get ready for Christ to do some amazing things in your heart and soul!