14 December 2015

Waiting in Joyful Hope

Now that we're past Gaudete Sunday, we're in the home stretch of Advent.

I'm very thankful for how Advent has gone so far this year. For most of my life I hardly knew what liturgical seasons were. Then in college Advent always seemed to get forgotten because of finals, and when finals were over, Advent was half way done and I was like a (rein)deer in the headlights in front of the Christmas truck. Living life in semesters is not exactly conducive to living liturgically.

Since I've been in the "real world," this is the first year that I was really intentional about making plans for Advent. I've been trying to be more intentional about all the things I do. I'm open to suggestions.

This year, I started planning early by making an Advent reading plan. I ordered a book called Conversing with God in Advent and Christmas, by Stephen Binz. It's a book of guided lectio meditations for the Sunday readings. I paid a lot for the book (well, what I consider a lot for a book, I don't think it is being published anymore), but it.is.so.worth.it. It's good. I'm reading through Isaiah at the same time.

I've also been reading Dawn of the Messiah by Edward Sri. It is great as well. I'll be finished with it before I go to Auburn on Thursday, I think. You know how I like to check things off my to do list.

As I was preparing for what I would read during Advent, I started making some other goals. I really wanted this Advent to be about cleaning out the cobwebs of my stony heart and asking God to fill the space left behind.

Here is my Advent List:
Give up Facebook (so far so good)
Pray the Rosary every day (so far so good, thanks to YouTube!)
Clean out my closet (done, clothes donated, and I even cleaned out two other closets in my house!)
Don't eat out (fail.)
Don't spend money (fail.)
Read more (check!)

You might think I'm too focused on lists. Maybe even obsessed. It might be true. Productivity is good for my soul, I think. It seems counterintuitive, but when I'm busy, even my prayer time is better. My soul takes a respite from the busyness and I can hear God.

How is your Advent going?

St. John of the Cross, pray for us!

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