by Joannie Watson | December 14, 2018 12:04 am
Last week, we looked at making a plan for Advent. So often our spiritual preparation gets lost in the midst of our preparation for the temporal demands of the season. Advent is now half-over, and you may be thinking it’s too late to make a spiritual plan. Quite possibly the demands on your time have ramped up as Christmas approaches, and any good intentions have had to take a backseat in the midst of preparation. So today I’d like to look at how to spiritually prepare during Advent while doing everything on your list. Just because you’re busy and have a long to-do list before December 25 doesn’t mean you can’t grow spiritually during this season.
Most of us are living vocations that don’t allow us to pray for hours each day. That doesn’t let us off the hook. We are still called to be saints, and we are still called to advance in the spiritual life. But how do we do that and still accomplish everything that needs to get done?
When St. Paul tells us to “Pray always,” he didn’t mean that we are supposed to spend every moment of the day praying the Our Father. He also doesn’t mean go around and mumble prayers to yourself all the time. He doesn’t mean our whole life can be spent in the chapel. Some people are called to spend their lives completely dedicated to prayer – but even those people have to take a break from the chapel to go make dinner!
He means that we should be in a habit of prayer, and that we should make prayer part of our lives so that our hearts are prepared for communal prayer and liturgy. We do need to set aside time in our lives to converse with God. But what he is also telling us is that we must make our entire lives a prayer. And one of the ways we do this is by offering everything – our works, joys, sorrows and sufferings – up to God.
So here are some ways to make your already busy Advent a spiritually rich Advent for the final stretch. Didn’t make a plan? No problem. We can start now.
All of these things are doable while we continue to be productive to prepare for the temporal needs of Christmas. We don’t need to go to a monastery during Advent. We don’t need to neglect the fact that people in our lives require our time and energy this season. To have a holy Christmas, you don’t need to stop buying presents, baking cookies, and sending cards. But all of those things can be done with spiritual intentions that raise our temporal to-do list to another level. Instead of just addressing Christmas cards mindlessly, what about saying a short prayer for each person as you write their name, sign their card, or lick that envelope?
I also want to repeat something I said last week: Say no when necessary. There are a lot of demands on our time this season, and the days fill up quickly. Step back and see if the noise and frenetic activity is worth it. Are the obligations on your list really obligations? Or can I sacrifice something here and there to really make this season quieter and more intentionally focused on the true spirit of Advent.
This weekend, we’ll light the rose candle on the Advent wreath as we celebrate Gaudete Sunday. If we are quiet enough to hear it, there is the crescendo in the liturgy as we have passed the halfway point of Advent and approach the octave before Christmas. Let us strive to continue to make this season one of spiritual preparation for our Messiah.
Please share this post on Facebook and other social media below:
Source URL: http://www.integratedcatholiclife.org/2018/12/watson-too-busy-for-advent/
Copyright ©2019 Integrated Catholic Life™ unless otherwise noted.