As we begin the second week of Advent, we focus on preparing for the Lord. Let every heart, prepare Him room!
By: Emily Borman
I thought I was prepared for my first day of navigating public transportation to my new job, but God often surprises me.
I arrived at the bus stop; the bus did not. Unbeknownst to Google (really?), the bus schedule had changed.
I didn’t have the shuttle schedule or even a phone number with me. I was a little embarrassed at my lack of preparation. But rather than looking for more information, I walked one mile on a blustery day to get to work on time.
That walk gave me the opportunity to reflect on the morning. My lack of preparedness was an inconvenience, but had few ramifications other than a chilly walk. Though, there are other areas in my life where the absence of preparation could cause greater consequences. A lack of preparedness in my spiritual life could prevent me from receiving the grace that is available to me. This deserves my attention. I need all the grace that I can get!
Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths (Luke 3:4).
When I don’t prepare for Mass, I am easily distracted and before I know it, my mind has wandered out the door and down the street to my next appointment. I presume that our merciful Lord is pleased that I have shown up, but I know that if I were prepared I would be more fully present; I would be better able to participate and receive our Lord’s grace.
So this season serves as a good reminder of a few simple things I often do to prepare for Mass.
1. Pray to my Guardian Angel and ask him to lead, guide, and direct my mind toward our Lord.
2. Read the readings before Mass. This helps me stay on track and also helps me find my place if I get distracted. Ideally, I spend time in prayer with the readings and ask the Holy Spirt to help me absorb whatever it is our Lord wants me to understand (because sometimes when I read Scripture, it just doesn’t register).
3. Pray on the stairs. When I go to Sunday Mass, I park in the lower lot and have to go up the stairs to enter the Church. As I climb the stairs, I pray and try to imagine myself physically entering another world, a holy space. If your parish doesn’t have stairs, you could just as easily pray during your walk from a particular spot in the parking lot. The whole idea is to just try to set aside the time and space for Mass as heavenly, different from everyday life.
I am confident that my trip home today will be smoother than my trip in that morning. I’ve entered the necessary phone numbers and taken a photo of the shuttle schedule for reference; I have prepared. More importantly, I am grateful for the nudge that that morning’s debacle gave me. The nudge to be better prepared for our Lord in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
This Advent season as we anticipate our Lord’s birth, how will you prepare?
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