by Joannie Watson | December 7, 2018 12:04 am
I heard someone point out once that most of us generally celebrate two seasons – Lent and not-Lent. When Lent rolls around, we have the sense that we need to make a plan. How often we hear the week before Lent from someone: “I need to decide what I’m going to do for Lent.” We decide to live the season of Lent intentionally, to some degree. Then after the forty days are over, we celebrate Easter Sunday and go back to our regularly-scheduled programming. We rarely celebrate the season of Easter, and we will revisit things the following year when it comes time for Lent again.
Yet the Church sets out several seasons for us, not just Lent. The liturgical calendar, the calendar by which the Church prays and lives, has a purpose. We need to get back to living the liturgical calendar, as counter-cultural as it may be sometimes.
We make plans for Lent: what we’re going to do, what we’re going to give up, what we might add to our spiritual lives, what goals we might have to help purifying our lives. But what about Advent?
Have you ever thought about what you’re going to do for Advent? You might be thinking, “Yeah… I have a list a mile long… baking and buying and making…” This is the busiest time of the year for most of us, between work and families, end-of-the-year obligations and social calendar responsibilities.
That is precisely why we need a plan for Advent.
I’m not talking about when you’re going to finish Christmas shopping or when you’re going to write your Christmas cards. I’m talking about a spiritual plan, similar to Lent, which will help you prepare your heart for the coming of Christ.
You make wake up on Christmas day and feel accomplished: your cards are written, your cookies are baked, your presents are wrapped, and your travels are planned.
But is your heart any different than it was on December 2nd when Advent began? All of those accomplishments are important – I love the tradition of Christmas cards, there are definitely presents that need to be purchased, and who doesn’t like Christmas cookies? There are things that we need to accomplish – and want to accomplish – during this month. But those things aren’t the things that ultimately matter, and they shouldn’t take the place of our spiritual preparation. They should supplement our spiritual preparation.
Since this is a busy time, I would recommend making an intentional plan to do certain things to celebrate Advent and prepare your heart for the coming of Christ. Remember, this season is not just a time to prepare for Christmas, but also for Christ’s second coming. And while He will come again to judge the living and the dead, He might be coming sooner to judge me personally at the end of my life. Am I living a life with eternity in mind? As Deacon Mike reminded us earlier this week, this is a great time to make resolutions and take stock of our spiritual lives.
If we can do each of the following four things this Advent, to the extent our particular vocation and situation allows, we will wake up Christmas morning ready.
What is the point of the season of Advent? It’s not just about lighting purple candles and singing Veni, Veni Emmanuel. It’s also not just a time to decorate trees, bake cookies, and buy presents. Let’s spend the next few weeks doing those things… while also preparing our hearts, living with eternity in mind.
Please share this post on Facebook and other social media below:
Source URL: https://www.integratedcatholiclife.org/2018/12/watson-advent-plan/
Copyright ©2020 Integrated Catholic Life™ unless otherwise noted.