How is your Advent season going so far? The liturgy of this season is a rich source of inspiration: themes include watchfulness, conversion, and joyful hope. Entering into the spirit of this season is the best way to have a good Christmas. If you have not been doing anything special for Advent, it’s not too late to start. If you have begun some Advent observance, now is a good time to take stock of how things are going.
This year I am especially focused on Advent as a season of joyful hope. We know how the story ends: Christ will come to us because he already came to earth over 2000 years ago. Our Advent wreath in the church (and perhaps in your homes) gives us a visible sign of the approaching light of Christ’s presence. Our upcoming Noel Night will be yet another occasion for joyful hope, as the true meaning of this season bursts into song. Another source of joy for me is the recollection of the Advent seasons of my youth, which were filled with special traditions and practices.
I maintain my Advent joy these days by doing special spiritual reading each day, including Bishop Baron’s daily Advent gospel reflections, which we gave to all our parishioners this year. Also, I bring a different Christmas album to the office each day to listen to as I work. Finally, I’ve gone for at least a short walk every day. It’s good exercise, and it gives my mind a chance to clear itself and focus on what is most important at this time of the year. As I continue to bring joy into my life at this time, I wish you a blessed and happy Advent as well.