Advent begins this Sunday! We have a couple days left to prepare ourselves for this Penitential Season. It's the time in which we prepare the way of the Lord in our hearts. "I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness: prepare ye the way of the Lord." It's a good time to re-boot our spiritual lives where they have begun to lag. I was reminded during November, as I read parts of the book Purgatory, of how grave even mere faults are and how long we will have to suffer in Purgatory to make satisfaction for them if we do not do enough penance here on earth.... and hour on earth is akin to years in Purgatory. Let's get it overwith!
Here is what we are doing:
- St. Andrew Novena
- Beginning a 54 Day Rosary Novena for a special intention
- Spiritual Reading: I've chosen to read The Backbiting Tongue (and have many copies to spare if anyone else is interested, I will mail it to you for free if you like, it's a must-read if you want to curb even the slightest fault of the tongue.) and Advent and Christmas Wisdom with Padre Pio. The children will be reading various saint books.
- Prayer: Getting back to our Quiet Prayer Time in the chapel with more diligence
- Various Advent Calendars
- Setting up our Nativity Village and adding pieces each day (the children tell stories of each character and it's relationship to Jesus as they put up their pieces)
- Self-discipline: spending an extra 15-30 (each) in cleaning and organizing various areas of the house.... and getting rid of the excess
Simplicity. Nothing fancy or impossible. Just simple things to make improvements in our spiritual and natural welfare (maybe I should say warfare). In a household the size of ours, there are always ample opportunities to do penance on a daily basis.... do the math and think of just the amount of dishes at a single meal.... and no dish washing machine.
During Advent there also happen to quite a number of special feast days to celebrate as well, like St. Nicholas' Day, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Immaculate Conception, St. Lucy, Las Posadas (the Expectation), St. Thomas. Advent is a beautiful and exciting time of year. A "little lent", a time to prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ. We need to be awake and ready for when He will come again.