Happy New Liturgical Year.
On December 2, Advent starts and with it we begin a new liturgical calendar year. As is the tradition, I would like to share with you a few advent resources, some familiar ones that show up every year, and some new ideas. I would also like to suggest you check the Department of Family Life page. It will have wonderful family traditions, prayers and crafts that you can use to make this Advent special.
Advent is a time of waiting and preparation for the coming of Christ, both at Christmas and his second coming at the end of time. In our culture, it has become a time of almost frantic activity: shopping for the perfect gifts for under the tree. We will be bombarded with Christmas music and the usual arguments whether to say Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays, and often we allow Advent to be overtaken by all the noise and activity so that when the Christmas season actually begins on Christmas Eve, the world is ready to be done with the festivities.
So this year, may I recommend that you take some time out to pause and reflect and enter into the silence of Advent.
A good place to start is with an advent calendar. There are a variety for sale at local stores or online, but there are also digital calendars. One of these, along with a great deal of advent resources can be found on the USCCB's website: http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/liturgical-year/advent/
When I was a child, we had advent calendars that behind each little door was a piece of chocolate. But you can also create a "reverse" advent calendar. This is an activity that is especially fun if done with a group or at the office. For each day of Advent, list an item that would be useful for your local food pantry or charitable organization. Perhaps see what items they normally do not get but may have a great need of: things like toiletries or spices, socks or hats, school supplies.
Another way to give back, rather than worrying about what will be under our own trees this year is to check out Catholic Relief Services Advent page. Again they also offer an online advent calendar for inspiration as well as reflection for each Sunday of Advent as well as prayer resources: https://www.crs.org/resource-center/advent-resources-your-parish
There are wonderful daily meditation booklets available from all the Catholic Publishers. Here is a selection:
Rejoice! Advent Meditations with Mary from Ascension Press: It is a prayer journal, with a daily word, reflection, psalm, a reading and then a prompt for you to journal and help you reflect and enter more deeply into the season of Advent.
Bishop Barron offers a booklet with Advent Gospel Reflections. Similar to last year's booklet is has the reading and Bishop Barron's reflection for the day, plus, this year, there is space to journal and write your own reflections.
Sacred Reading for Advent and Christmas 2018–2019 from Ave Maria Press by the Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network
Advent Meditations With Fulton J. Sheen from Pauline Books and Media
Waiting For Christ: Meditate with Bl. John Henry Newman From the Augustine Institute
Other Advent Resource Pages:
From Loyola Press see these resources: https://www.loyolapress.com/our-catholic-faith/liturgical-year/advent
From IgnationSpirituality.com there are a a variety of online prayer resources including making an online retreat:
Of course, since Advent is the beginning of a liturgical new year, how about making a liturgical new year's resolution?
The USCCB has created a Prayer Resource for personal meditation, family prayer or small group reflections on the Sunday Gospel for the entire year. This Lectio Divina of the Gospels is available from the USCCB
The office of New Evangelization wishes you and yours a prayerful advent!
Comments powered by CComment