By: Erin Healy
Advent, a beautiful season within our Liturgical calendar, is a time to prepare our hearts and minds, anticipating the birth of the Infant Jesus and ultimately, the Second Coming of Our Lord.
It is also a time where we find ourselves scrambling to buy gifts, making travel plans, attending various parties and wrapping up projects at work.
For some, the joy of the Advent season can be coupled with anxiety or uncertainty at the thought of spending extended periods of time with family and reconnecting with old friends.
How can we turn our Advent anxieties into positive preparation for the coming of our Lord and Savior?
Here are a few thoughtful suggestions:
Is there someone you struggle to get along with during the holidays?
Have a Mass said for him/her or offer prayers and sacrifices for them during the Advent season. Say a Novena to the Holy Family in preparation for your visit. It begins nine days before the Feast of the Holy Family on December 28.
Visiting loved ones who don’t share your fervor for God?
Don’t be afraid to live your faith sincerely and openly. Invite them to join you for Mass. Don’t assume they’ll decline; ask if they would like to join you in prayer before Christmas dinner, or if you might lead a prayer for the table.
Are you struggling with how to “reconnect” with God, and what that really means?
Remember the wise words of St. Francis of Assisi: “Sanctify yourself and you will sanctify society.” Many parishes offer additional confession times during the Advent season. Make a humble confession, purifying your own heart and mind and hopefully, you will be a source of inspiration and peace for your family and friends.