Spiritually Preparing for Advent…

… Catholics love to decorate. After my conversion I joked with my sponsor that I needed to go home and redecorate now, remembering how every Catholic I’d ever met had a house full of tchotchke.

I think this habit to modify our exterior surroundings is a reflection of our interior call of continuous conversion. Not necessarily to reinvent our spiritual interior life, but to celebrate new aspects of it that we may have neglected the rest of the year. Like when you unpack that box of Christmas decorations and enjoy the memories associated with each one. Each new liturgical season is an unpacking of traditions and celebrations.

The symbolism and rituals of the season help us remain focused on the interior spiritual aspects of Advent. Advent wreaths, Advent calendars, Jesse Trees, and Nativity Scenes are all visual reminders to spiritually prepare.

Below is a list of things you can be doing to spiritually prepare, independent of the typical Advent wreaths and calendars.

Start the Novena to the Immaculate Conception – starts tomorrow
Start the Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe – starts December 4th
Check out Catholic Culture’s Advent Workshop for ideas
Get a good Advent preparation book, like Lisa Hendey’s O Radiant Dawn.
Resolve to pray daily even if you have to set your phone’s alarm or use an app.
Pray the rosary for Spanish performance artist Abel Azcona
Lastly, Find something beautiful and uplifting to focus on

annuncia
Alessandro Allori, The Annunciation c. 1603, Oil on canvas, Galleria dell’Accademia, Florence

While decorating is fun, it’s important to remember why we decorate and what our decorating is supposed to symbolize. I wish you all a blessed Advent.

About Katrina Fernandez

Mackerel Snapping Papist