Note: For some reason I couldn’t get my image to post so there’s no image today!
Here is the latest Coffee & Pearls:
Scroll down to read it as a blog post!
Advent is here. And while I wasn’t going to write an Advent-specific post, I feel compelled to. I had the pleasure of attending Mass at a small country parish for the first Sunday of Advent and the priest was delightful. He said two things that were so important, I really wanted to share them with you.
Begin Advent With Forgiveness
He urged all families to begin the Advent season with forgiveness. Although I always go to confession during Advent, he was advocating for forgiveness within the family. He suggested that we all get together and one-by-one say to each other, “I’m sorry for all the ways I’ve hurt you, will you please forgive me?” Such a simple sentence and yet such a powerful one at the same time.
I admit that as I pictured myself saying this to my family, starting with the little kids and working my way up to the oldest and then to my husband, I found myself tearing up at the thought of this exercise. Looking at my almost 8-year-old and telling her I was sorry for all the times I’ve hurt her… whew, it was an emotional idea!
And then my husband! I can’t remember the last time I asked for blanket forgiveness. I think it’s a great idea and one that every family should do this Advent season. We’re going to do ours this Friday.
Season of Preparation
The second point this priest made, quite strongly, was that Advent is a season of preparation. It’s not a season of partying. It’s not a season of desserts. He said, we must save the party for Christmas and I agree. The other thing I like about thinking of this as a season of preparation is that we can decorate and get ready.
We like to put out white lights as a guide to Mary. I once heard someone say they leave a candle burning in their front window as a sign to Joseph and Mary that they are welcome at their house and I’ve always loved that imagery. Ha, I’m sure it was a fake candle but the idea is still lovely. So we put up white lights all over our house with the same idea in mind.
As we get closer to Christmas, we’ll get a tree. Last, we’ll decorate the tree and prepare the house for Christmas. Then we party hard from Christmas to Epiphany.
We turn down all invitations to parties except one on Gaudette Sunday when our friends have an annual potluck. We make an exception for this… to be honest… for no real reason other than it’s what we’ve always done.
I’m not trying to be a scrouge on your December but please, keep in mind, this is a season of waiting. Throughout history, December was not a time for parties and cookies, it was a time of anticipation, of waiting, and of preparation. Try hard to create this feeling in your home even if we can’t hold back the wave of American Christmas that begins right after Thanksgiving. Tell your children why we are different. Tell them we are waiting to celebrate the day that God sent His son to Earth and what a glorious event it was.
If you’re already feeling frazzled, let me remind you, no one can make you attend an event. No one can make you spend money. No one can make you eat cookies. You have the choice and the power to create the kind of Advent season that you want.
Be brave. Be holy. Choose Christ.