December 2, 2012


Well, my initial post which I began a couple weeks ago was never finished... such is my busy life right now.  And here we are Advent is no longer coming... it's come upon us. I received a lovely little Advent guideline in my email box and I thought I'd share the main points in what to do for Advent. It's sweet in its simplicity.  It was divided up into 3 sections.  And if you'd like a copy you can just send me an email and I'll fwd it to you.  Anyway:

1.  VOLUNTARY AMENDMENT OF LIFE:  Give up those things I need to give up sooner or later, namely bad habits.  My goal here is to break a bad habit for ever. (ex.  gossiping, watching TV, over eating, eating between meals, drinking habits, complaining, saying bad words, not getting up on time, computer games, and so on. 
In this category I am going to do __________.

2.  ACTS OF PENANCE: Perform some kind of penance. My goal here is to train myself to say "no" in little things so that I can say "NO" to big tempations later. I may resume doing the things I have given up here once Advent is over. Examples: Drinking soda, eating chocolates, giving up T.V. altogether for Advent, giving up computer games, etc...
In this category I am going to do ____________.

3.  WORKS OF CHARITY: Peform some good and holy action. My goal here is to strengthen
my relationship with Christ and His Church. Perhaps what I start here could continue in some
way even after Advent is over.  Examples: Pray the Rosary everyday, attend daily Mass, read the Sacred Scriptures _______ minutes a day, spend _______ additional time everyday with my family, read a life of a saint or saints, increase spiritual reading in place of T.V. viewing, make a daily visit to the Most Blessed Sacrament.
In this category I am going to do _______________.
Sooo... what are we doing for Advent?  I'll keep may multitudinous bad habits to myself so as not to scandalize anyone :D .  But our overall main family goal is to be diligent in our daily spiritual reading and setting aside time for meditation (quiet prayer in our little chapel) and going for a walk (go ahead and laugh but fresh air is good for everyone's spirits and it is amazingly difficult to take the time to do that.  And... if I don't, I could be inside until next May).   I've chosen to read St. Alphonsus Liguori's Incarnation Birth and Infancy of Jesus.  He is definitely my absolute favorite Catholic Author of all time.  He has a beautiful simplicity in his writings, yet they are greatly profound.  The children each have their own spiritual reading in addition to reading various books from Christmas Mosaic (www.hillsideeducation) which is a little unit study  with various projects on various picture books for Advent and Christmas, Galadriel is also reading an Advent book to the littles but the name escapes me at the moment.
We don't eat sweets during Advent though Holy Mother Church seems to think it her bound and duty to give us many lovely feast days-off during  Advent.  I'm ok with that... :D  And we have a daily sacrifice we choose each day which in general is some area of the house to work on (closets, basement, etc...) though I did see some "make an extra vegetable and eat it" in the sacrifice cards.  They will add hay to the manger each day... assuming they complete the sacrifice.
And to this we are resurrecting our drawing of names to offer each day's sacrifices up. So each day we draw 13 names of people to pray and sacrifice for.  One for each of us. It puts a charitable purpose behind all our duties.  It also comes in handy to be able to say, "Just offer it up for so-n-so" 
We also do little things like placing a person or two up each day in our Bethlehem Village and Nativity.  Put our stockings up for St. Nicholas day.  Eat cinnamon buns for St. Lucy day (not sure why we do that but maybe this year we will find out haha).  And if you are too lazy busy to make the cinnamon buns, Kwik Trip has great ones...if you slide a little of the frosting off.  Celebrating the Immaculate Conception and Our Lady of Guadalupe. 
Many blessings for a beautiful Advent... which, incidentally is a time of penance not parties. Let the parties begin after Midnight Mass :D

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