The Christmas season is filled with joyful preparation. We wrap presents for our loved ones, decorate cookies with care and adorn our homes with twinkling lights. While these festive activities are a beautiful part of the season, it is most important to remember to make prayerful preparations for Christ within our hearts. That’s why the Church, in her wisdom, gives us the preparatory season of Advent.
To help you on your journey through this sacred time, let’s delve into the proper meaning of Advent and three practical tips aimed at making your Advent more prayerful this year.
What Are We Preparing For During Advent?
Advent is not merely a countdown to Christmas; it is a liturgical season that calls us to prepare for the Feast of the Nativity. It is a time of reflection, pondering the great mystery of the Incarnation. Throughout this season, God invites us to marvel at this event, drawing us closer to his heart and inviting us to know and experience his love.
Similarly to Lent, the Church encourages us to partake in prayer, fasting and almsgiving during Advent. By partaking in these three pillars, we can approach this season of anticipation prayerfully and arrive at Christmas morning with hearts prepared to receive the Christ Child.
Preparing For Advent: Three Tips For a Prayerful Season
Tip 1: Establish a Daily Advent Prayer Routine
To grow deeper in your relationship with God this Advent, dedicate a specific time each day for prayer and reflection. This can be first thing with your morning coffee, at dinnertime with your family or in the quiet of night. By setting aside a few moments in your busy schedule, you create space for a meaningful encounter with God through prayer.
Consider incorporating practices such as reading reflections while gathered around your Advent wreath each night, meditating on scripture about Advent, or partaking in devotions specifically designed for this season.
Tip 2: Engage in Acts of Service and Give Alms
Advent is not only a time for personal reflection but also a season for serving others. By engaging in acts of service and giving to those in need, we serve God by answering his call to care for the least among us.
What you can do is volunteer at a local shelter, bring canned goods to a food drive, buy presents for children in need or donate to a charitable organization close to your heart. Through acts of service and almsgiving, you serve God. This Advent, consider donating to Divine Word Missionaries as your gift of service to the poor.
During Advent and all year long, the true gift our missionaries give is the gift of their service. Divine Word Missionaries are committed to improving the lives of the less fortunate worldwide, providing food, housing, education, and healthcare—all the while spreading the Good News of the Gospel and the Christmas message of the new life promised by the child in the manger.
Tip 3: Open Your Heart Through Penance
Advent is the season to prepare our hearts for the celebration of Christmas. By recognizing our shortcomings and confessing them through the sacrament of penance, we create room for Jesus to dwell in our hearts.
Advent presents an opportune time for the sacrament of confession, allowing us to experience God’s mercy tangibly.
Prepare For Advent With Purpose
As we prepare for Christmas, let us remember to place our spiritual preparation above all other trappings of the season. To help you on your journey to a more meaningful Advent, pray alongside Divine Word Missionaries and partake in our Christmas novena. Starting on December 17 and ending on Christmas Day, contemplate the birth of Christ with thoughtful reflections on the Incarnation. Register today!