November 29, 2008

O Come, O Come Emmanuel

First Week of Advent: Purple, the color of penance.
The Church in her great wisdom knows that human nature needs times specifically set aside for prayer and penance for the remission of sins... otherwise, it's likely, we wouldn't do it.
Contrary to popular belief, Advent is one of the penitential seasons of the Church Year and Christmas begins on December 25th. During Advent, we wait in joyful anticipation of the coming of Our Lord through prayer and sacrifice.
I try to cover 3 areas:
The Mind: through an increase in spiritual reading. I am currently reading Divine Intimacy which has a reflection for each day of the Traditional Calendar, The Autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila, and am adding the Butler's Lives of the Saints. And we'll add on a saint story family read-aloud.
The Soul: through working on a virtue by creating some kind of better habit and growth in virtue that hopefully continues to grow when Advent is over. I won't even get into what I'm working on in that department! That I will save for my confessor. (how penitential for him)
The Body: through various means of self-denial or putting better habits into practice in the realm of self-discipine. For me it is necessary to get outside every day but it's something that always slides off the daily routine with scrambling to get things done inside during these busy days, with the excuse it's cold or it's hunting season so that has to come back into my routine. We don't eat sweets during the penitential seasons with exceptions on those special feasts the Church has put in for our spiritual betterment. And there are a host of other sacrifices that work in both the soul and body.
The Saint Andrew Christmas Novena begins on November 30th. Repeat the following prayer 15 times a day for an intention close to your heart.
Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God, to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother. Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment