And just like that, the last month of 2017 is upon us!
It’s also the first weekend of Advent, which I am so excited about. Advent is one of, if not my absolute favorite, season of the Church. I actually didn’t know that much about Advent until about two years ago, and since learning more about what it means for us as Christians, I look forward to it all year.
There is so much joy in the season, but I think oftentimes we forget that it’s also a season of penance. While we are focusing on the joy and happiness that is the baby Jesus entering our world, we are also called to examine ourselves and evaluate where we are in our faith. Are our hearts prepared for this coming of Christ and His next coming? Are we living out our lives in a way that reflects our love of the Gospel and our faith first? Are we allowing others to see Christ in us and do we seek Him in them? Or are we like the women in the readings a few weeks ago, who are unprepared for what is to come?
I know I for one am falling short in a lot of these areas and I regularly find myself unprepared to encounter Christ. But I love that Advent provides an opportunity to take stock of and work to change these things before the joy of Christmas and also a new year. It’s almost like an opportunity to set goals and “resolutions” for your faith for the next year.
I always set out to have an intentional Advent, but easily get caught up in everyday tasks or the business of the Christmas preparations. So this year, I was thrilled to see that Blessed Is She created an Advent devotional! I love the presentation (that pink is my favorite) and that it provides incredible insight and helps create deeper reflection each day of the season. I’ve only read a few parts, but am so looking forward to delving more deeply into this beautiful work this weekend and on and to truly focus on preparing my heart for Christmas. If you didn’t get a chance to order one, there is a digital version you can download! I highly recommend it.
There are also some really great Advent reflections from Dynamic Catholic that go to your email that you can check out to keep your mind focused on Jesus this busy season.
I don’t know about you ladies, but I’m also allll about festive music during this season. While I have my Christmas playlist ready to go (literally listening to Jingle Bell Rock as I type this), I also love this Advent playlist from fellow blogger Anna over at In Honor of Design! I’ll definitely be listening to it a lot over these next 4 weeks.
Do you have any Advent traditions or devotions that help you open your heart? Let me know!