Preparing for Advent

This Sunday will mark the beginning of Advent, that all-too-short period of preparation for Christmas, when most of us try to juggle spiritual preparations with more mundane matters concerning family, food and ‘the festive break’. Some are already planning reading programmes and multitudinous good works, none of which is to be mocked or disparaged. But could I suggest that Advent itself needs to be prepared for, and that the best way of preparing for Advent is, contrary to what you might think, not-doing?

It is good during these last few days before Advent begins to be silent rather than trying to decide what we are going to read or do by way of Advent preparations. If you can, try to find some time during the day when you are not doing anything in particular, not reading, not praying as such, just being quiet and attentive; and let the silence within you grow and grow until you can hear it, embrace it, make it part of your life. It is in that silencing of mind and heart that we allow God an opportunity to make his Advent within us. It is a paradox, but if we would welcome the Word into our lives, we must first learn what it means to be wordless.

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12 thoughts on “Preparing for Advent”

  1. Thank you, Sisters, for bringing me back to the silence of Advent. It’s about the deepening down into the absolute silence inside when the Word becomes Flesh – in the midst of all the muchness and manyness!

    Blessings on your Advent!

  2. Many thanks for these wise words Sr Catherine.
    Praying that you too will be richly blessed in this Advent season as we prepare ourselves to encounter anew the One who is God with us.

  3. I suspect that many of us get excited by Advent so the urge to prepare and to plan takes over. I’ve an Advent Book to work through with my spiritual director, as pleasure and privilege.

    I love the idea of quiet, but interspersed with prayer and attending the Eucharist, sharing at the Lords Table if not daily, more than just weekly. And I manage to attend three days a week as well as Sundays.

    Confession before any major part of the Church year is another blessing and allows us to reflect our our lives and those things which distract us from walking in Christs footsteps – it’s an opportunity for cleansing and healing of the soul and spirit and reconciliation with Jesus Christ as we prepare to celebrate his coming.
    Absolution in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is a very powerful grace to receive.

    So, I’ll spend a few minutes, morning, noon and night in solid quiet, just waiting on God.

  4. I think those words are wonderful. I so need to sit and just ‘be’ but with all that life throws at one it is so hard to
    find that precious time. My diary fills up constantly and I sometimes have to juggle things as I look at the whole and think I cant do all that. Bite sized chunks is the answer but today I WILL find time just to sit and ‘be’

  5. I remember, some years ago, watching a Songs of Praise about Advent and waiting. One of the people they spoke to was a refugee, and the Home Office were deciding whether he was going to be allowed to stay in Britain or deported. It was taking a long time for them to adjudicate in his case, and in the meantime he couldn’t work, he was just waiting for the ruling. He was wonderfully at peace, embracing the spirit of Advent as he just waited to see the course his life would take.
    Maybe my devotion this Advent should be to arrive especially early for appointments, giving me the opportunity to simply wait.

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