Father Tom said it best in this weekend’s Blast from the Past(or):
Happy Advent! This is the season in which the Church calls us to watchfulness, expectation and a forward-looking preparation for the coming of the Child born of the Virgin. Yet we are presented in this cycle with the Gospel of Mark. A former professor always called Mark the ‘Gospel of the present tense.’ For Mark and his community emphasized the call not only to preparation but to conversion. Whoa, even in Advent? That’s right, even in Advent, this Gospel calls us to accept the Kingdom of God and the living message of the Cross here and now. As we begin this wonderful season, we remember that Jesus is very much alive. He is Crucified, Risen and Present. And He will come again. We are called to be watchful! Be alert! But we cannot simply force the issue. If you’ve ever pulled an ‘all-nighter’ to cram for an exam (I confess to this, to horrible results. When a professor writes really? on your paper, you know it’s not good), we might not perform so well on the test. Or if you’ve ever tried to keep yourself awake while driving, you know your eyes only grow heavier. The result could be disastrous. You know you have to pull over and rest. Bad things can happen when we try to force the issue. Instead, with Mary let us be more willing and less willful. Let us embrace true Advent watchfulness by saying, be it done unto me according to Thy Word.
Did you know that Advent is often referred to as “the Little Lent?” In the midst of all the fun and festivities, I often actually forget that Advent shares many, if not all, the same characteristics as Lent… simplicity, silence, repentance, waiting, and conversion. During the first week we remember HOPE; the second, LOVE; the third, JOY; and the fourth, PEACE.
To help spend Advent in the most prayerful way possible this year, I made a calendar of ideas for every day of the season! These are just some suggestions of ways to get in the spirit of Advent here at OLMC!
Advent Spiritual Exercises Calendar 2014
A few other things to look at…
10 Things You Need to Know About Advent (An NC Register article written last year; still relevant)
Novena with Our Lady of the New Advent (begins on December 17)
Advent Companion from Lifeteen.com
XT3 Advent Calendar 2014
Advent 1: Clearing the Cluttered Heart
… And then there’s the WHOLE WORD of Pinterest and Advent, which is too much to get into here..!
Have a hopeful, loving, joyful, peaceful season!🙂