Sunday, December 2, 2007

ADVENTure Begins (1st Week)

If you ask me, Advent, not XCmas, is the most wonderful time of the year. I love the season's invitation to contemplative hopefulness and anticipatory joy. I appreciate today's Gospel call to, "stay awake!" (Mt. 24:42 NAB). God knows, I'd much rather snooze my way through the deep midwinter. Yes, Advent has deepened in its meaning since Roman Catholicism became my preferred expression of Christianity.

This year I've added a new Advent ritual to my personal roster of traditions. Since today marks the beginning of the liturgical calendar, I spent erev Advent writing out a list of last year's frustrations, disappointments, sorrows, displeasures, and whatever psycho-spiritual drek I could tolerate recalling.

My intention? To toss all of it into the purifying fire of the first candle's flame while praying that last year's occasional darkness might be extinguished by the light. I was only a teensy bit tempted to chant, "Om Swaha" as an homage to the crypto-Hindu yoga stretch of my journey from Judaism to Roman Catholicism. This, in turn, prompted me to wonder what the "Magnificat" would sound like in Sanskrit or Aramaic. Having a multiple spirituality disorder can be very entertaining.


  1. Advent is my favorite season, too. Beyond its liturgical and emotional appeal, it gives me a holy excuse to avoid shopping, which I dread at any time of year.

    Al Garrotto

  2. Happy to see your blog! I am always interested in discussing the liturgical year! As another lover of Advent and mom of three little ones who I am trying to turn into Advent Lovers, I have a question for you about how we do this getting ready for christmas thing with kids. My husband and I have been discussing the trouble with the idea that Christmas is Jesus' birthday. For most of us, birthdays are anniversaries of the day we were born. Yet, Christmas as a liturgical season is not an anniversary celebration, it is an entering into the actual birth of Christ. As I understand this, it is more than a spiritual remembering, the moment in time in which Jesus was born is made present to us in the liturgy. you agree? How do we help our kids get this deeper meaning? Do we make the season too shallow by focusing on the "birthday" thing?
    Thanks for your input!

  3. Carol, your question is great and a perennial problem for parents. I'll happily respond with more in another post. Meanwhile, realizing that Advent is not "pre-Christmas" but a sacred season unto itself is a great start.

  4. Good point...will put more thought into that. :)


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