Sometimes I just don’t feel like praying or meditating. Sometimes it’s too much for me to even glance Heavenward at my Beloved. It’s not that I don’t care about God, and it’s not that I have lost my faith. Sometimes it’s just more mentally and emotionally exhausting than usual. Postpartum Depression describes the difficulties that new mothers sometimes encounter when their baby is born. I guess the only word that describes a similar experience of religious people is “spiritual desolation.” It might be helpful to gain some perspective in the midst of this.
I’ve often been told that love is not a feeling, but a choice. I’ve heard in popular culture that love is a fiery, spontaneous, passion that is felt for another person. I believe that the rationality of the mind and the passion of the heart are not mutually exclusive. Think of a couple who fall in love. Love might come easy at first when the attraction in fresh. However, there must be some deeper, firmer foundation for the relationship when their love is tested. I think what might be missing from the modern understanding of faithfulness can be found in traditional marriage vows: honor. What does it mean to honor God or your spouse?
Does ‘honor’ simply mean to do whatever your beloved tells you to do? Does it mean never disagreeing with their decisions? Of course not. I think honor in this context has more to do with our attitude toward our beloved, which informs our actions. When I love someone, I must consider how my actions (or inaction) might make my beloved feel. Likewise, when I honor God, I must put His will before my own—in every aspect of my life. I must recognize that God’s ways are WAY higher than my own. I will now offer 5 practical ways in which we can honor God in preparation for Christmas.
- Make a good Confession
It’s time to hunker down and think of all the ways that we have hurt and disobeyed God. Then we can thankfully receive His mercy and start anew. God is waiting to pour down His gifts and grace upon us—what better way to honor Him than to accept these gifts with open hearts?
- Meet His Mother
If you are unfamiliar with praying the Rosary, now is the perfect time to begin! This time of year we get to reflect on two of the greatest mysteries in history: the Incarnation and the virgin birth! We can actually ask for guidance from the one who is intimately involved in these mysteries.
- Be Still!
How often during this pre-Christmas season do we get a moment to sit and reflect? Try to take ten minutes each day to be completely still and silent—not just for the sake of doing it, but with a posture of openness to God’s still, small voice.
- Give Alms
Praying, Fasting and Almsgiving: the preparation trifecta that we usually hear about during Lent apply to the season of Advent as well! If it helps, consider Pope Francis’ advice to make a “more modest” purchase and give the difference to charity. And remember that while money or gifts can be of good use, a simple smile or some kind words can go a long way as well.
- Spread Peace
If you have been struggling to forgive someone (including yourself), take this struggle before the Tabernacle and offer it to God. And if you can, speak kindly to those who have wronged you, and ask forgiveness (not excuses!) to those you have wronged.
In what other ways can we prepare for Christmas? What gifts will we have to offer our Infant King?
If publishing article online please attribute source Serviam Ministries with link to original article.