It’s Not Too Late to Have a Truly Meaningful Advent

Each year, the lighting of the first candle of the Advent wreath awakens me with the realization that Christmas is less than a month away. Then, before I know it, we are lighting the second purple candle and before I turn around the pink candle is lit, leaving only one more candle to light before Christmas. In another blink of an eye all the candles will glow and then it will be Christmas day. This year because Advent is shorter due to Christmas falling on a Monday the fourth week of Advent is only one day.

Over the years Advent has been a hectic passage of time before Christmas day, leaving me feeling like I squandered much of the purpose of Advent. Are you experiencing some of the same this Advent, especially with less time to prepare this year?

Advent offers us a season to ponder God humbling himself and becoming man, Jesus’ second coming, eternal life, and is also a time to prepare our hearts for the coming of Jesus to the world. When we think of what this really means, IT IS MIND BLOWING! Therefore, with only about 10 days left in this beautiful liturgical season we need to light a fire to our efforts to prepare. It is not too late to have a truly meaningful Advent!

Think about all we do to effectively prepare for the arrival of a beloved relative or friend who is coming for an extended visit? We clean house. Right? We take notice of the clutter and dust that has accumulated in our home and we get busy cleaning it. With it cleared out we can joyfully welcome our guest and more fully appreciate our time together.

The lighting of the Advent candles announces the impending arrival of our most precious and Beloved Guest, Jesus! This is a time that should draw our attention to the clutter that has accumulated in our heart so we can quickly get busy cleaning it out. God provided us with a couple of amazing methods for cleaning:

Meditating on the Commandments provides an effective way to identify the clutter and dust as we perform an Examination of Conscience. At If U Love Me we have made this simple for you – just visit our Ten Commandments webpage which provides a brief overview of each Commandment along with short video clips on each Commandment. The overviews and videos will assist you in meditating and identifying the clutter and dust that has accumulated over time.

Then, to clean out all the clutter and dust, avail yourself to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is a most beautiful gift from God that liberates us from all that enslaves us. If it has been a while since going to Confession, Advent is a natural opportunity to go and be released from the sins that have accumulated.

Invite and encourage your other family members to go to Confession too, so all the hearts living in your home can joyfully welcome Jesus on Christmas.

Recall how good it feels when your home has had a good cleaning. With about ten days remaining in Advent, you can focus on one Commandment each day, giving yourself one entire day to review each Commandment thoroughly prepare for The Christ on Christmas day. With no time to delay, roll up your sleeves and get to work today, and set an appointment on your calendar for the Sacrament of Reconciliation before Christmas! Go to a church across town if you don’t feel comfortable going to a priest you know.

With your heart having had a good cleaning, you will be well prepared to joyfully welcome the most Beloved Houseguest to come and reside in your home and in your heart. This will not only help you experience abundant joy this Christmas, but this also will help ensure a truly joy-filled New Year.

Image by Fran Polito on Shutterstock

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Ed Van Buskirk is Founder and President of If U Love Me, a catholic apostolate dedicated to help restore truth in this world of confusion by teaching the time-tested wisdom and truth of the Ten Commandments. He’s author of the “God’s Recipe for a Wonderful Life” book and video course, given an Imprimatur by James V. Johnston Jr. Bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri. He recently founded the “God’s Recipe for School and Family” program for Catholic schools, to teach school children and their families how to learn and live the Ten Commandments. Ed speaks across the country and was recently a speaker at the Kansas City-St. Joseph diocesan Eucharistic Congress.

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