And just like that, Advent has come and gone and we begin the season of Christmas! How was your Advent, and your Christmas Day?
I ended up following a few particular practices for keeping Advent. They included a daily rosary prayed with special intentions and following the daily meditations in Give Us This Day, as well as keeping the Advent wreath tradition each Sunday. Overall I tried to keep the waiting, patient (and calm and loving!) attitude that is the hallmark of the season. And I think I did okay!
Seems pretty simple, doesn't it? In fact, I'm sure there are plenty of Catholics who do both those things (daily meditation and rosary) year-round. I learned last year, though, that over-committing left me frustrated and defeated the purpose of the whole season. There's nothing good about being spiritually competitive. So, a mindful and peaceful Advent, focused on its meaning, was the right thing for me this year.
And now - it is Christmas! I pray that you and your family had a beautiful Christmas day and a continued happy and bright Christmas season. Between now and January 9, here is what we have to look forward to:
- Feast of St. Stephen, Martyr (Dec. 26 - today)
- Feast of St. John, Apostle and Evangelist (Dec. 27)
- Feast of the Holy Innocents, Martyrs (Dec. 28)
- The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph (Dec. 30)
- Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God (Jan. 1)
- The Epiphany of the Lord (Jan. 8)
- The Baptism of the Lord (Jan. 9)
That is one of the things I love about our Church - there are lots of opportunities to learn about the history and figures that built the Church have influenced her, as well as lots of opportunities to feast and celebrate.
Oh and one last thing - as a Christmas present to myself (aside from a pair of black velvet Ivanka Trump heels on sale - come on, it is Christmas) - I bought, and am reading, Fulton Sheen's Life of Christ. I'm only a few pages in, but already it is beautiful and to the point in his signature way. Whenever I read Fulton Sheen I feel like he is looking over my shoulder and reading my soul and not letting me make excuses for myself. And that's a pretty good way to start the new year, eh?