We have all encountered holy days and seasons that do not excite us nearly us much as they should. We have all stared out windows hoping for snow or something to lift us up and change how we see the days we are supposed to be looking forward to. And Advent, I admit, has for me at least, always fallen short of what it can and should be.
The fault is certainly not on the part of those responsible for preaching the Gospel or wowing us with liturgical decor. Instead, I would agree with that most random sign always to be found outside this or that protestant church. Yesterday’s message was insightful, it read: Unless your Advent is holy, you cannot have a blessed Christmas. How true.
A friend of mine explained pretty much the same thing when we met for coffee just days before Advent began. ‘I am so excited,’ he said to me, ‘because in just a few days I get to begin.’ That’s right, he was about to begin…not just Advent. He would begin his novenas, he would intensify his study of the Scriptures, he would take on charitable work and increase his efforts at evangelization and so on. He would in effect, be trying to live out the principle that Advent is here to make you and I holy for Jesus’ coming.
And you know, when you do that; when you really take it up a notch in the spiritual life because of what is coming, Advent changes. When you stop looking outside of yourself to make the season special and you turn inward, and put in order what is there, you feel entirely different about the whole thing.
So go on, study, pray, give, lose yourself in the mystery of the season. And when Christmas comes, it will be blessed indeed.
Check out Patrick and his ministry – evango – at https://evango.net/