Monday, November 28, 2016

1st Sunday of Advent: Follow-up...

As I noted in the commentary for the 1st Sunday of Advent, this is a season of penitent reflection, a time for us to slow down and consider if we are ready to meet Christ when he comes again.

Seems I'm not alone in that thinking.  Here's some links I'd like to share:

From the online Catholic news magazine Crux:
https://cruxnow.com/commentary/2016/11/26/culture-frenzy-advent-always-slows-us/

From  the online forum "For Her":
http://forher.aleteia.org/articles/3-advent-rituals-embrace-season/

From Matthew Kelly's Dynamic Catholic ministry, there's Best Advent Ever
http://dynamiccatholic.com/best-advent-ever/

And lastly, from America Magazine:
http://www.americamagazine.org/content/the-word/stay-awake

On some of the outer fringes of Protestant Christianity there has been this growing movement to "Take Back Christmas."  They are understandably frustrated with how our secular society has taken over this uniquely Christian celebration and turned it into something completely different.

I don't think we Catholics have ever felt we've lost the Christmas in this same way.  Why?  Because we've always had the Season of Advent.  Celebrating Advent allows us the time we need to reflect, taking time to prepare both our souls and our homes.  Christmas will still come, just as it did in "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," and we know the celebration will last a full 12 days (plus-or-minus on the new Liturgical calendar).  So we know there's no rush.  No need to feel pressured.  No reason to feel offended by something we didn't feel was lost.

There is a rhythm and a purpose to our Liturgical calendar, reflective of the highs and lows of the seasons.  Right now as Fall gives way to Winter, we celebrate the end of the harvest and prepare our homes for the cool bluster of winter.  What better time to thank God for his blessings and prepare our spirits for his coming again.

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