Prepare the Way of the Lord! Advent & Christmas Preparation

Prepare the Way of the Lord!
Advent and Christmas Preparation

Christian life is one of preparation.  In order to prepare to celebrate the sacred mystery of the Eucharist, we acknowledge our sins. In order to prepare to celebrate the birth of our God as a tiny baby, for us and for our salvation, the Church wisely celebrates the Advent season.  Before we know it Advent will be here.  So, how do we prepare for Advent, itself?

That’s the focus of this post: to get a little ahead of the calendar in order to equip us, first of all, for a peaceful and prayerful Advent, and then for a happy, holy and joy-filled Christmas season.

To that end, the Avila Institute and Avila Foundation, of which this site is a part of, has come up with some team/staff picks so as to make it easier to orient our souls to this holy time.  Although this is lengthy, these recommendations are by no means exhaustive, but are meant to help all of us focus on the conversion of heart that these holy seasons are meant to bring us to. Don’t pick or do everything, or you will drive yourself and others crazy and you will fail to enter into the peace and spirit of the season.  Prayerfully, pick or do just a few, or even one of these suggestions you will really stick with that will draw you closer to Christ…and to others for Christ. Click on the titles to access the links.

Advent Season:
Christmas Season (Many Advent sites above are also applicable to the Christmas season).
  • ModifiedDetailNativityLippi_z05First and foremost, give Baby Jesus a gift: the gift of your heart converted to Him!
  • Be Joyful!  Christ is born for us!
  • Say Merry Christmas or Blessed Christmas…no matter the reaction of others!
  • Apps:
  •  Books:
  • Donations:
  • Invite someone to Mass…and get there early!
  • Music: See our post on Chant here.
  • Posts: Prince of Peace Series: 30 Advent Meditations and 30 Christmas Meditations
  • Prayer:
    • Christmas Novena
    • Help someone learn to pray the Liturgy of the Hours!
    • Pray the Rosary!
  •  Sites:
    • Free:  Give the gift of a faithful Catholic source (a free subscription to to friends, family, your priest(s) and deacon(s), and those that work in your parish).  Find the SignUpForOurNewsletterbox under the crucifix, at the top of this page, which has the picture of an envelope on it.  Click on the envelope and, when the box expands, fill in the form with the email and zip code of the person you wish to give the gift subscription to.  Then click “Send” and you’re done! You can do this as many times as you like, for as many different people as you like.
    • Free: USCCB’s Christmas Site

Feel free to add your own suggestions/recommendations to the comments…which are faithful to the magisterium (we check all links…click here to read our FAQ–Frequently Asked Questions ).

God bless all as we anticipate these wonderful seasons of the liturgical year and prepare for the joy of God becoming one of us!  Please pray for us as we pray for you!

Love and blessings,
Liz Estler and the Team!

Art: Modified Adventkranz (liturgisch), Andrea Schaufler, 2 December 2006, CCA; Modified detail of Scenes of the Life of the Virgin-Adoration of the Child, Fra Filippo Lippi (1406-1459), undated, Zyance, May 2007, CCA-SA; both Wikimedia Commons.

About Liz Estler

Editor, Liz holds a Master of Arts in Ministry Degree (St. John’s Seminary, Brighton, Massachusetts), Liturgy Certificate (Boston Archdiocese), and a BS degree in Biology and Spanish (Nebraska Wesleyan University – Lincoln). She has served as hospital chaplain associate, sacristan, translator and in other parish ministries. She was a regular columnist for a military newspaper in Europe and has been published in a professional journal. She once waded in the Trevi Fountain!

This article is reprinted with permission from our friends at Roman Catholic Spiritual Direction.

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