It's hard to believe Advent is already here! Just as soon as Thanksgiving was over, I shifted my focus to Christmas. All the autumn decorations came down, and I dug out some Christmas items from the attic. December always seems to sneak up on me. At our home, we try to keep things simple, peaceful, and low key during Advent, and focus on the coming of our King. It's a time of joy, but also of peaceful reflection. By directing our attention to the reason for the season, all the craziness of the secular Christmas season just melts away. What we are left with is the King of Peace, the beginnings of our salvation, the joining of the old and the new(testaments), a witness to prophecies fulfilled, and the nascent promise of everlasting life.
Take Time to be Aware . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Edward Hays, A Pilgrim’s Almanac, p. 196
"Take time to be aware that in the very midst of our busy preparations for the celebration of Christ’s birth in ancient Bethlehem, Christ is reborn in the Bethlehems of our homes and daily lives. Take time, slow down, be still, be awake to the Divine Mystery that looks so common and so ordinary yet is wondrously present.
"An old abbot was fond of saying, ‘The devil is always the most active on the highest feast days.’
"The supreme trick of Old Scratch is to have us so busy decorating, preparing food, practicing music and cleaning in preparation for the feast of Christmas that we actually miss the coming of Christ. Hurt feelings, anger, impatience, injured egos—the list of clouds that busyness creates to blind us to the birth can be long, but it is familiar to us all."
Memory Awakens Hope. . . . . . . . . Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Seek That Which Is Above,1986
"Advent is concerned with that very connection between memory and hope which is so necessary to man. Advent’s intention is to awaken the most profound and basic emotional memory within us, namely, the memory of the God who became a child. This is a healing memory; it brings hope. The purpose of the Church’s year is continually to rehearse her great history of memories, to awaken the heart’s memory so that it can discern the star of hope.…
It is the beautiful task of Advent to awaken in all of us memories of goodness and thus to open doors of hope."
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