The time to celebrate the birth of Our Lord is near at hand. But like with all important people, to welcome Him requires preparation. For this reason, the Church has given to us the Season of Advent, a period to prepare for Christmas. In previous times, this season also included fasting laws, but these have long been dropped from the practice of the Western Church. However, this in no way means that we shouldn’t be preparing ourselves.
We ought to, first of all, ensure that we are preparing ourselves spiritually. If you haven’t confessed recently, please be sure to get to confession before Christmas! Perhaps our preparation also includes attending Mass at various times throughout the week or attending Adoration if getting to Mass is difficult. We could also read a spiritual book like the sermons of St. Francis de Sales for Advent and Christ- mas, St. Alphonsus or St. Athanasius on the Incarnation, or perhaps even Gospels. The fact that God became man to undo our debt to God is an astonishing moment in time. When we truly consider the consequence of what Christ has done for us, it is inconceivable in our fallen, finite minds. We can do practical things to prepare, like keeping an Advent Calendar, making use of the Advent Wreath, and saying the St. Andrew prayer each day.
This is worth the preparation because it is ultimately a part of our broader preparation for Heaven. St. Thomas Aquinas, coming from the Fathers of the Church, teaches us that Christ became man so that we may become gods. This is an amazing gift for people born with original sin and who has since committed their own personal sins, but not one that doesn’t come with responsibility. So each of us needs to make sure that we are preparing ourselves to be worthy of Christ and what He is offering to us. So be sure to make the best use of this time that the Church is giving to us.
I would also encourage everyone to be generous with the less fortunate this season. We are each poor in our own way, but Christ has come for each of us. All that has been given to us to benefit the Church and God’s glory. So out of our abundance, we ought to be generous with those not as fortunate as ourselves. So be sure to keep others in mind this season and be generous, just as God has been generous with us.
Please be sure to review our Mass and special event schedule for Advent and into Christmas. I am encouraging everyone to take advantage of these opportunities. So be sure to review the full newsletter, so you don’t miss out on any of these events. Finally, I would like to remind everyone that the Immaculate Conception, December 8, is a Holy Day of Obligation, so please be sure to make it to Mass that day!
Have a blessed month ahead!