“Man has a noble task: That of prayer and love. To pray and love, that is the happiness of man on earth.” St. Jean Marie Vianney.
Advent is indeed a time of preparation of our hearts to receive the baby Jesus as our King on Christmas Day.
Prayer changes us. Prayer makes way for the Lord to come into our hearts and draw us closer to Him. St. Paul told us to, “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus,” (1 Thess 5:16-18).
Part of increasing our prayer should include celebrating the numerous feast days during Advent: December 6th is the feast day of St. Nicholas. The first sign of Christmas decorations in our house are put up on St. Nicholas’s feast day.
December 8th is the feast of the Immaculate Conception. Don’t forget your Mother!
December 9th is the Conception by St. Anna of the Mother of God. December 12th is the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. There are other beloved saints whose feasts fall during Advent (Sts. Damasus, Jane Frances de Chantal, Lucy, Barbara, St. John of the Cross, Peter Canisius, John of Ketty).
So we learn about them and honor them on their feasts! December 8th is day of confession at SJC. This is also a good time to go to confession to cleanse our souls with repentance and forgiveness before receiving the Lord on Christmas Day.
We celebrate during the Christmas season because it is a time of being with family, giving and receiving presents and longing for joy and peace.
As you slowly add ornaments to your Christmas tree and Christmas crib day by day and decorate your house to emphasize the Light of Christ coming into your home, don’t forget to read the scriptures that are chosen for this season. These can be read daily and will deepen our understanding of Advent and Christmas.