November 30, 2008

Advent Plan

Gentle Reader: Do you ever think the Season of Advent is completely overlooked, as a Holy Season, by Lent? Both are completely overlooked by secular society, but even in Holy Church I think Lent gets more attention.

Granted, Lent leads up to the pinnacle of Christian belief: The Resurrection. But, you can't have the Resurrection with the Nativity.

Certainly, Advent is a happier time than Lent. Other than Planned Parenthood, who doesn't like a Baby? But, I think we should still be penitant and thankful-as we are during Lent-in Advent as well.

I know for myself, I usually have a pretty firm Lenten plan but I often don't have much of one for Advent beyond avoiding busy stores at all costs and making sure I get all my gifts purchased and my cards mailed out.

Here's my plan for Advent 2008 A.D.:

1) Continue to pray the Rosary daily. I joined the Confraternity this year but even before I joined I was already praying the Rosary daily. There are many other benefits to being in the Confraternity, you should check it out! You've heard me gripe in the past that I could not pray the Rosary in the car because I was too apt to lapse in road rage comments between prayer. I'm not saying I'm perfect but I've seen real progress in my attitude toward my fellow commuter since I started praying the Rosary every day in the car. Since I commute over 20 miles a day I get my most solid block of prayer time in the car. Try it, you may like it!

2) Put my Nativity scene out on the First Sunday of Advent (as is my family tradition, the Christ child stays hidden in a cupboard until Christmas Day and then he is added to the creche). I leave the Nativity scene up thru Epiphany.

3) I'm still debating about the Christmas tree. Because of the small size of my house, my tree has to go in my porch and I got rid of my fake tree about a month ago. It was very shabby. It made Charlie Brown's tree a thing of beauty. I have not replaced it yet. However, I did buy my annual wreath from the Scouts and that's up already.

4) Read the Magnificat Advent Companion meditation each day. I already have my copy of this supplement to their regular monthly issue. If you don't already subscribe to Magnificat I can't recommend it enough. It has been a tremendous aid to me in helping me deepen my daily prayer life and Scriptural meditation.

5) Attend my weekly Adoration hour as usual

6) Confess, Confess, Confess!!!! I went yesterday to start Advent off with a clean slate. I'm sure I'll be in the Confessional, at least, one more time before Christmas. Don't wait until January, Confession is the best weight loss program there is!

7) Attend the weekly Novena of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. I'm only an occasional attendee at the Novena but for Advent I vow to go each week

8) Pray the Novena to the Immaculate Conception. Today is Day One.

9) Attend Holy Mass on December 8th-The Immaculate Conception-a Holy Day of Obligation. You did not forget did you? :-)

10) Do my usual First Friday devotion on December 5th

11) Give something up every Friday during Advent. I know we are supposed to sacrifice on every Friday throughout the year in remembrance of Christ's sacrifice but I admit to you that, outside of days I'm obliged to and First Friday's, I don't. I'm hoping if I start this, like my daily Rosary recitation which grew up out of a Lenten resolution, I will keep it going after Advent.

12) Go to Mass every Saturday morning during Advent. Saturday is usually my only morning to lolligag so I'll be attempting to give laziness up during Advent.

13) Continue my attendance at Bible Study. I'm in one of Jeff Cavins' series at my parish. I really like it! If your parish starts one, JOIN! If you don't have one, ask for it!

14) Continue attending sung Vespers on Sunday afternoon. I can't make it every week, but I'm determined to do so during Advent.

15) Finish reading C.S. Lewis' The Great Divorce I know. It's short but my free time is too! It has a lovely sentiment in it from Adoro It was a gift from her and when I complained that she did not write anything in it for me, she wrote on the front page "J, Here. I did not write this, but I read it! J" Give me a minute will you? *Sniff, Sob*

That's my plan. Much of it is stuff I'm already doing but there are a few new items. Some of you out there are wondering why you should care. You don't have to. It's my blog and I can write what I want, so there! It helps me to stick to a plan if I've committed to it by public vow.


Anonymous gette said...

Hi Cathy! YOu are so organized, and you have definitely given this a lot of thought. I need to be more like you!

Happy and holy Advent, hon!

love and prayers,

November 30, 2008 5:23 PM  
Blogger Adoro said...

Cathy, are you aware that you are STILL OBLIGATED to give up something EVERY Friday, not just First Fridays and those of Lent? No, it doesn't have to be meat, but if you fail to do something penitential on Friday, it's still a venial sin.

You're right that people don't realize that Advent is truly a penitential season, with a different focus, of course, and it's not as "strict" as is Lent. I also work to treat it as a "mini lent" myself.

November 30, 2008 6:04 PM  
Blogger Ray from MN said...

When I was in high school, attending Mass every weekday, it still was difficult to think of the Advent Season.

But I don't recall that we ever made "Advent Resolutions."

There were just too many Christmas-y things taking place; shopping, mostly.

November 30, 2008 7:50 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

"The Great Divorce" is one of my favorite books. It's the type that lurks in the back of your brain and springs out when you least expect it. And the very last paragraph is a certifiable masterpiece... but I'm not going to spoil the surprise for you!

November 30, 2008 8:47 PM  
Blogger Terry Nelson said...

Well I'm glad adoro said it - otherwise i was going to have to do it. LOL! I love Christmass!

November 30, 2008 8:51 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Thanks for the reminder about the Magnificat book- it's in my drawer waiting for me!
I also got a new book- "Watch for the Light" with readings for every day of Advent.
We did our family Advent wreath and added a couple symbols to our Jesse tree (Nathan was excited all day for that!)
At work one day last week I mentioned something about how as a kid my family didn't put up the tree until the 3rd week of Advent and one of my colleagues said, "Now, what is Advent? I don't even know." It caught me off guard- I thought everyone at least knew what it was, even if they didn't obseverve it!
I also need to get back to my daily rosary- I did the 54-day novena prior to the election but since then I've been slacking off.
Maybe I should get off the computer, huh.
BTW, I have photos up from today's Mass. :)

November 30, 2008 8:55 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Adoro: I know, that's what I'm sayin'. I admit that I'm not!

Ter: Yes, the Spirit is alive and well isn't it? LOL!

Ray: I find your comment interesting since I always thought the old calendar was more attuned to seasonality than our current calendar.

Bede: Hmmm..I wonder what you mean by that?

Chris: I'll go check it out!

December 01, 2008 8:52 AM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Hi Georgette!

December 01, 2008 8:52 AM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

Fine - now I feel like a big slug for not having lots of stuff to do for Advent. Just trying to get dressed before 1 pm is a BIG deal for me. Slothful - thy name is Auntie A

December 01, 2008 6:35 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Adrienne: Read; Single Chick! The point of this post was not to shame anyone. It was, as I said, to commit my intentions in writing,in public, so I will stick with them. If it's just me, vowing privately to do it, well...then the excuses come.

December 01, 2008 8:10 PM  
Blogger Our Word said...


Meant to comment earlier on #11. We just go with the flow and give up meat - it turns out that it's not all that hard to do (and when it is, that makes it all the more worthwhile). We do have a backup in case we're invited somewhere where we don't get to choose the menu, or something like that - I give up breakfast, Judie passes on coffee - but as it turns out, meatless Fridays are just easier.

N.B. I think I've managed to convince everyone at my job that the old obligation is still in effect - when people first noticed I passed on meat on Fridays, they were of the "well, naturally - you're Catholic" attitude. Now whenever we have a Friday meeting that requires food, they make sure there are meatless dishes for me as a matter of course.


December 03, 2008 8:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What Mitchell said. We don't even think about it anymore. We just don't eat meat on Fridays.
We were out with another couple from our parish a few Fridays ago, and when it came time to order dinner, the menu was less than accommodating.
You should have seen the waiter's face as he made his way around the table. "Okay, so portabello sandwich. And you? Okay, same thing. How about you, ma'am? Same thing? And for you, sir? Oooookay then."


December 04, 2008 10:46 PM  

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