Wise Words for an Inspirational Advent

Wise Words for an Inspirational Advent

Date published: Dec. 14, 2016

O Come Divine Messiah! As we prepare for the birth of our Lord, we delve into the season of Advent with enthusiasm and anticipation. Sr. Yolanda Cruz and professors Marti Jewell, D.Min. and Dan Luby, S.T.L., S.T.D., all weighed in with their advice for living the season of Advent with the utmost devotion.

What is your advice for living out the Advent season as a Christian?

Cruz: Gather with family to pray for others! Give to the needy, look for places that help the marginalized and help out. Focus on waiting and preparing for celebrating Christ, not on "gift giving."

Jewell: Listen to one another and listen for God's invitation to new life.

Luby: Think and talk with loved ones about what people really want from the season — not stuff but more meaningful, lasting gifts. Find ways to be up before dawn so you can really experience the darkness and the advent of the sun, and alter some daily routines — your route to work, menus, morning or night time patterns, etc. — to invite mindfulness and silence.

Share with us one of your favorite traditions for the Advent season:

Cruz: Daily prayers around the Advent wreath!

Jewell: Singing "O Come Emmanuel"

Luby: Advent wreath; Lucy Buns for Dec. 13.

Is there a book or reading material you would suggest  for spiritual reflection this Advent season?

Cruz: Short daily reflections such as those offered from "Magnificat."

Luby: John Shea's Starlight, or the Advent portions of John Lynch's book length poem on Mary, A Woman Wrapped in Silence.

Is there a way we can practice the spiritual or corporal works of mercy in preparation for Christmas?

Cruz: Find a family in need to anonymously offer your spiritual and/or material support.

Jewell: Care for the sick — Christmas is very difficult for many people and a friendly hand can make a real difference.

Luby: Feed the hungry via food banks, “Meals on Wheels,” etc. — or in your own home by inviting lonely, difficult people for a meal. Comfort the sorrowful — grief, loneliness, isolation are all sorrows which the "required gaiety" of the secular season underscores. Invite a grieving friend or isolated neighbor to share your table and conversation without expectation of recompense.

Thank you, professors Cruz, Jewell, and Luby! May we all find the grace to prepare our hearts for the birth of our savior.

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