So far, Advent hasn't been too great for me.
I have been very lukewarm about preparing for Christ's arrival.
I'm still not feeling quite at home in our new city, and we have been dealing with illness after illness, teething, and night wakings. It's been exhausting. I would say that although I have been complaining an awful lot to God, I have been neglecting my relationship with Him.
Thankfully, He is so generous and merciful--always ready for us to begin again. He is always there, waiting for us to "put down our nets" and follow Him. Now, finally, mid-way through Advent, I am ready.
Something that helped bring me here was a Lighthouse Catholic Media talk entitled "Love Hurts: The Truth Behind Redemptive Suffering." I listened to it once before, but yesterday, while ironing and folding laundry, I listened more carefully.
It was exactly what I needed to hear and ponder upon...
All of us suffer.
But our suffering doesn't have to bring misery. In fact, as Christians, it should bring us joy.
I needed to be reminded of this.
I needed to be reminded that since we're going to suffer anyway, we might as well do something efficacious with it.
I also needed to be reminded of the reasons we do voluntary penance.
Advent is a time to detach ourselves from the fleeting aspects of this world and seek the eternal.
It is a time to go deeper.
In order to draw closer to God, I pray He will help me with the following:
Slow down my prayers and mean the words I am saying.
Go to Adoration and be with Jesus, even if it's just for five minutes.
Go to confession.
Be more generous in the love I give to others.
Remember why I'm alive.
I hope your Advent is going well, but if it isn't, there is still time for you to start again, too. God's blessings be upon you. May you truly experience the beauty and love of this season.