I wish I were as on my game as in previous years and had a New Year's Eve party last night but, considering we were at a birthday party the night before and Thanksgiving the day before that, I just needed a break from all the festivities...we had a nice quiet evening at home, making an Advent wreath and preparing ourselves for the time of preparation.
I like the quiet of this time of the year. Not that it's quiet in this house. The quiet that seems to invade my heart. The Christmas stuff is taken care of mostly. (I'm discerning the cards...they're done but I'm thinking of not sending them until Christmas Eve or later...not to disturb anyone's Advent and so they can enjoy them during the Christmas season). The gifts need to be wrapped but that will happen in it's good time. For now, there are more pressing matters.
We are in another sacrament year - this time it's #2. First Penance occurs this week! I am always so happy that they do this during Advent. What a fantastic way to prepare for His birth!
It's been funny to watch how a totally different personality approaches this preparation...somewhat timid (behind the screen) and not-at-all racing to get there like #1...although, just the other day, I heard him say "I wish Reconciliation would hurry up...I could sure use it." Amen.
Now I just have to keep myself from weeping during the practice sessions. When I hear "Bless me Father, this is my first confession" I just well up. What a grace he is undertaking for the rest of his life. How blessed we all are to share in this!
So, no one will ever mistake me for a crafty person but I made our Advent wreath last night. We had one that wrote out the word "LOVE" but then I read it should be a wreath...so, we have a wreath. It's nothing exciting but it will do for our nights of family dinner and prayer while we wait for Him. We are so blessed to share this time together.
You know me and the Holy Spirit by now...I love it. So, today when I was bemoaning the fact that I couldn't possibly haul myself all the way down to the Oratory for Adoration because 1. it's too late in the evening and 2. it's too far away, the phone rings. Would I be willing to fill in on Wednesday nights for the forseeable future (like through Advent and Christmas) at a local parish? Yes, of course. Thanks for ringing me up. There is nothing that helps me settle and calm like an hour alone with Christ in the Eucharist.
Also, the Children's Rosary group is making the 33 Day Consecration to Jesus through Mary (it started yesterday). What a great way to assure yourself of some daily prayer! Feel free to jump in and catch up if you wish. I'm using 33 Days to Morning Glory because, you know, Fr. Gaitley wrote it :0) and truth-be-told the St. Louis de DeMontfort original isn't going to keep me awake when I'm praying at night these days. That's terrible, I know, but I'm not going to start something that I know I will fail immediately. I'm trying to keep my daily rosary during the 33 Days so we'll see how it goes.
That's what we're doing. Us. Your Advent may look completely different. That is OK. I will be praying that whatever you choose to do, add or subtract, you do it with your heart turned toward waiting for the birth of our Savior.
I've noticed that #1 is voicing some strong opinions these days and I can hear that they aren't entirely charitable (and many sound disturbingly like something I would say). I'll be using this Advent to help her (and myself!) make choices that keep her on the right path while (quietly) praying that others move in that direction as well. If she rants to you about a Lego Advent calendar that counts down the days to Santa's arrival (and gives you toys every day until Christmas when, I guess, you get more toys)...well, it couldn't be helped. I'm human. (Seriously...there is a new version every year and it's $60!)
There is none who calls upon your name,
who rouses himself to cling to you;
for you have hidden your face from us
and have delivered us up to our guilt.
Yet, O LORD, you are our father;
we are the clay and you the potter:
we are all the work of your hands. - Isaiah
Blessings to you and yours on this first day of Advent. May your waiting be fruitful.