I look at Advent as a “mini-Lent”. Advent is the time of preparation for the coming of the Lord. Lent is the time of preparation for His resurrection. I see both of these seasons as being neccesary to prepare us to accept what is about to be at hand. We are preparing ourselves, in mind and spirit, to be ready for Christmas.
It goes much deeper than preparation for December 25 however. We are preparing ourselves to recieve and spread a fundamental Christian truth: For us and for our salvation, our Lord and God, came down from heaven and by the power of the Holy Spirit, he was born of the Virgin Mary and became man.
We often take this truth for granted but it is a pretty big one that our Church Fathers spent a good amount of time really reflecting and trying to figure out.
Our God- the infinite creator of all that exists who has and will exist for all time; the one that is Holy, is Love, is Peace, is Joy; the source of all blessings in the Heavens and on the Earth- our almighty and everlasting God humbled himself to be born of a woman as an infant in a barn. I mean, if I was God and if I were going to concede, for the time being, so much of my power to be born as a baby, I would at least be sure to be born somewhere other than a barn. At least a hotel- not even the Ritz but a Holiday Inn Express or something.
In all seriousness, how insane is it to think that the most power entity in all of existance became one of the weakest forms of creation. Look at human infants- we’ re completely helpless. We can’t feed ourselves, we can’t transport ourselves, we can barely stay away for longer than ten minutes. The Creator, in order to fulfill his desires for us, became our weakest state.
Advent is a time to prepare us to fully accept that truth, at least to the limit that we can accept it.
For me recently, my spiritual life has not been what it once was and so I wish to take full advantage of this season to try to jumpstart it again. I have not heard the voice of God recently, or at least have not accepted that He has spoken. As we all know, whether or not we think we have heard His voice, he is still there.
I recently stumbled across this quote and with the above in mind, I’m taking it as my personal theme for this Advent. it was found written on the wall in a German concentration camp:
I believe in the sun even when it’s not shining.
I believe in Love even when I don’t feel it.
I believe in God even when he is silent.
This is a time of prayer so we can focus more on His voice- whether it be simply to hear it at all or to further discern what we have already heard.
increase our strength of will for doing good
that Christ may find an eager welcome at his coming
and call us to his side in the kingdom of heaven,
where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God for ever and ever.
– Prayer of the First Sunday of Advent, Liturgy of the Hours