I LOVE Advent. But it is so short this year! It is so hard to get beyond the external joys (spiced biscuits currently cooking in the kitchen and yesterday afternoon was spent in a hot, crowded pub with the heady smells of mulled cider and East 17’s Stay Another Day – now that was a blast from this nineties girl’s past!) and I think we need longer to get into it. For catechesis, too, it means just one session with a purple cloth in the sacred space before the premature Christmas party. Boo 🙁
But, since there’s not really an option of campaigning for a longer Advent, we’re just going to have to get into it RIGHT NOW. I realised this morning the best thing we can do to prepare is a deep, thorough examination of conscience. All the lovely externals take us away from looking inside ourselves, which is where God our Father invites us to turn during this season – into our own hearts, the sins we repeat too frequently, the underlying motives – time for a deep clean and a good Confession. This is easier in Lent when everything is starker. In Advent, we need a bit more self-discipline. Maybe we can even use the externals to go within? A priest suggested to me one time, every time you see Christmas lights, say a quick prayer to the Christ-Child.
So, people, let’s not let Advent pass us by! Let’s begin today.