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Monday, November 26, 2012

Advent Preparation

I was ready to continue with the history of Canada but the Holy Spirit seems to be pushing me to think about Advent instead. For anyone in Miami or near enough to make the Advent retreat at St. Thomas University next Saturday, that is an excellent way to begin the beautiful season of Advent. The retreat ends with the Liturgy of the First Sunday of Advent - then we will wake up on Sunday morning aware that we have the next few weeks to Christmas to prepare for the coming of Jesus into our world and our hearts again in a special way in 2012 - Christmas is never the same as we have one more year of life to bring to the celebration of this feast.

I have prayed over my own plan of preparation for this year and know it will be centered on joy. Joy gives energy. I want to give joy to Jesus by giving joy to others. It is easy to get stressed out during Advent as people seem to rush around, the parking lots are full near the stores, the post office has long lines, and traffic is even worse than usual. I have written my Christmas letter and started to write my Christmas cards to avoid the last minute rush to get these things done. I think we cannot cultivate joy without the discipline of planning ahead to avoid stress. Peace and joy are fruits of the Spirit and flow into us when we take time to sit quietly in prayer. Let us strive to do this each day in Advent and then radiate peace and joy to others.

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