The Liturgical Season of Advent encompasses the four weeks preceding Christmas Day. It is a time of preparation for and anticipation of the birth of the Messiah. It is a time of prayer and penance, although not as rigorous as the season of Lent, and yet it is a time to prepare our souls for the Lord’s Nativity. Just as we begin to adorn our homes with beautiful decorations and lights, we should adorn our souls through recollection, prayer, and good works, so that on Christmas Day we may receive Our Lord in less unworthy hearts.
With today’s over-commercialized Christmas hype, it is easy to be distracted from – and sometimes even forget – what Christmas really means: the Son of God taking Flesh so as to redeem us. What a beautiful miracle! The most wondrous miracle of all! Let us give it its importance, and gain the many graces that are there for the taking.
Tips for making a better Advent
- Set up a nativity scene inside your home. This is an easy and very visual way to remember Our Lord’s birth, but refrain from placing the Baby Jesus in the manger until Christmas Day!
- Light an advent wreath in your home. It is a popular and familiar way for Catholics to mark the weeks of Advent with prayer.
- Display an advent calendar in your home. Not only does it help count down the days until Christmas, but it also reminds us to fully take advantage of each day in the Advent Season.
- Attend Holy Mass as often as you are able. The most pleasing prayer to God is the Holy Sacrifice of theMass.
- Have everyone in the family go to confession during Advent.
- Pray the rosary daily. This devotion to the Blessed Virgin will bring us closer to her Divine Son and prepare our souls for Christmas.
- Read spiritual books and meditate on the birth of Christ.
- Make extra sacrifices. Go a little out of your way to do a little extra mortification, such as, fasting, eating what we do not like, being kind to someone we dislike, getting up early, saying extra prayers, etc.
- Perform acts of charity. Adopt a family or child and give them a nice Christmas dinner or gifts they would not otherwise have. Visit to your nearest nursing home and brighten the residents’ day with your smile and kind words.
Here is an article that speaks on the importance of Advent: