This was published on November 29, 2006
I love Christmas! It is honestly my favorite time of year. However, nothing irritates me more than this secular consumeristic society and the way they prepare for Christmas every year. The fact that Christmas decorations go up in stores shortly after Halloween and the add campaigns don't even wait until after Thanksgiving. Seriously people, have we forgetten about a little something called Advent? Thanksgiving was last week and all of a sudden everyone busts out their lights and decorates their yard and boom its Christmas. Folks advent doesn't even start until this Sunday!
Part of Christmas is being ready for Christmas. While on some level that means shopping for presents, and putting up the trees and the lights, that is only a very small part of it. We need to prepare our hearts for Christ. We need to take back the true meaning of this season. That means living as true Catholic embrassing the liturgical seasons and living within the mystery of Christ's life. Advent is an amazing time of year. We need to live in that season so as to be open to the graces God has for us so that we may more fully enjoy Christmas.
Think about it, from the perspective of Mary. She had 9 months of advent. She had to go through the pregnancy before she gave birth to her beautiful son. If you talk to any mother, while pregnancy has its difficult and painful moments, they love being pregnant. Pregnancy makes them experience even greater joy when the child comes. There is something to be said about the time of anticipation and preperation for big events in our lives.
I write this to myself as well. I challenge all of you as well as me to live in the moment of advent when it arrives. Let us truly be ready for Christmas by preparing our souls, not just our homes. I personally will be decorating for advent in my class room. I'm going to put an advent wreath on my little sacred space table, a Jesse Tree on my bulletin board and a nativity scene without baby Jesus, and maybe a few lights. I will make my classroom and apartment look like Christmas as it gets closer, maybe when the O antiphons start 8 days before. Aside from decorations I hope to set a little extra time out every day to pray with some spiritual reading or scripture. We need to experience Advent so we can more fully experience Christmas.
Well I hope you all enjoy the last few days of the current Liturgical year! Remember its not Christmas yet. Let's ring in the new Church year this Sunday by entering fully into the mysteries of Advent! Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord!