Catholic Husband

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A Prepared Heart

Advent is here, that most joyous of seasons. In my neighborhood, everyone put up their Christmas lights on Thanksgiving afternoon, at least those who hadn’t done so by November 1st. There’s plenty to love about December and the festivities that mark the end of our year.

The Church offers us two seasons of preparation each year. While Lent in particular may feel glum, I see the wisdom. Advent and Lent prepare the way for the two biggest celebration of the year. Indeed, they prepare our hearts to celebrate the two seminal events in human history: God made man, and God surrendering Himself for our salvation.

We live in a hurried culture that praises busyness and productivity. December is the month on the calendar that really encourages hyperactivity. In the midst of the parties, end of year sales, and trying to close out big projects at work, the Church invites us to slow down.

Advent, like Lent, is a season of reflection. It’s an earthly purgatory. We wait outside the gates of the Heavenly banquet, purifying and preparing ourselves for the awesome reality that exists on the other side. It’s an opportunity to go deeper into your prayer life, to endeavor again to overcome the biggest sin-habit in your life. It’s a time of preparation for the moment on Christmas morning when you approach the manger to see the Christ-child incarnate.

A prepared heart is attuned to the moment. It listens to the message of the Liturgy of the Word. It follows the breadcrumbs, so carefully laid out, leading it deeper into the joy of Christmas. It takes the time to step back from daily life, to focus on its spiritual health, and to recognize the mystery that we are about to celebrate. Give yourself and Jesus the gift of a prepared heart this Christmas.