Getting Ready

1 Dec

“Motivation is what gets you started, but persistence is the only thing that guarantees your success.”  ~ Edmond Mbiaka

As we begin the month of December, we are on the eve of the season of Advent.  Advent is a wondrous season of preparation for the celebration of Christmas.  The tone of Advent is slightly penitential in nature as well.  The season prepares us for the proper celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ as well as for the implications of what Christmas means.

As with everything in life, there are some mechanical things that we need to do in order to be prepared for Advent.  One of the things used throughout the season is the Advent Wreath.  If you do not have one for your home, it is not too late to get one.  Construct a wreath out of three purple candles and one rose candle.  The rose candle is lit on the third week of Advent.  The purple candles are for all the other weeks.  You can also have all the preparations for the construction of a Jesse Tree in your home.  You can look on the internet for suggestions for symbols for the tree as well as ways to make this a family practice throughout the season.

As Christmas approaches, we often make lists of things to do for the holiday.  We have presents to purchase, houses to clean, cookies to bake and the like.  You might want to construct a spiritual list as well.  Make sure you have the items for an Advent wreath.  Mark a date on your calendar to go to confession before Christmas.  Make plans to do something to celebrate your faith as a family, whether it be by going to Mass together during the week, visiting the shut-in at nursing homes, visiting hospitals, et cetera.

It is easy to say, Christmas is coming, Advent is here, let’s get started.  However, without some kind of goal, the excitement with which we entered the season will soon wane and we will find ourselves, around the second week of Advent, forgetting what the season is all about as we become distracted with the material preparations for Christmas.

Advent is a spiritual season.  It is not a day.  Make yourself ready for the season by planning time for prayer and other spiritual activity.

FAITH ACTION:  Make sure that you have a plan not only to begin Advent; but, to carry it through to completion.