As Christmas approaches, life becomes hectic, overbooked, and our prayer time can shrink. But if we take intentional steps, Advent can become a period of deepening our relationship with our Savior.
The word advent means “coming or arrival”—the coming of Christ into the world. Advent is a time of preparation. During this season, we direct our hearts and our minds toward Christmas, the anniversary of Christ’s birth. However, we also prepare for the second coming of Christ at the end of time. While the season is the beginning of the liturgical year, the coming of Christ into our hearts must be our focus.
For added peace and spiritual growth, take some time for yourself for prayer breaks such as an online Advent retreat or calendar of brief reflections. Sign up for Advent Moments of Mercy to be delivered right to your inbox.
In creating Advent wreaths or Jesse trees for our programs, consider each piece a prayer—a spiritual connection with the Savior. Use a special blessing for each seasonal project, gather around the symbols of Advent when praying with children in the program, and elicit the help of the pastor in sharing the sacramentals of the season. As we share all this with others, our hearts widen, and peace flows in. This happens in the midst of the busyness, because the group is connecting and Christ is coming into all our hearts. We find Christ where we are.
In our ministry of directing formation programs and giving of ourselves, Christ truly gives back to us when we take him along with us, wherever we are. Let this approach be a new beginning for you this Advent. Then when the Christmas children’s Mass and/or pageant is done, and you can take a well-needed break, your journey of faith will have an “ever clearer light on the joy . . . of the encounter with Christ.”
How will you approach this Advent as a new beginning?