Advent is a season of spiritual preparation for the coming of the Messiah. It is a period of prayerful repentance, sacrifice and joyful waiting. This year, Advent begins on Dec. 3. How will you prepare for Jesus’ coming?

Go to confession.

This season is about penance and making room for Christ within your heart. Begin Advent by having your sins forgiven. Go to confession and pray the Act of Contrition. As God has forgiven you, also have the responsibility to forgive others.

Traditions

Begin or continue traditions with your family such as lighting the Advent candles and reading the Bible, creating an Advent calendar, hanging an ornament on the Jesse Tree every day, or setting up a nativity scene.

Practice the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy.

Reach out to a friend who you know is struggling. Work on letting go of grudges. Request a Mass intention for a family member or friend who has passed away. Provide the less fortunate with a Christmas dinner by donating to a food. Send a care package to a soldier overseas. Donate time or money to a local homeless shelter. Give blood. Donate to a charity that is meaningful to you.

Celebrate the Saint Feast Days that occur during Advent.

  • Nicholas – Dec. 6
  • Feast of the Immaculate Conception – Dec. 8
  • Feat of Our Lady of Guadalupe – Dec. 12
  • Lucy – Dec. 13

Be hopeful and joyful.

Ask God to help you overcome fear, despair and sadness this season by reciting the Prayer of St. Francis.

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.

O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.

Simply “be.”

Be. Be still. Be still and know. Be still and know that I am.

Psalm 46:10 calls us to take a moment of silence and let the presence of God be known. Meditate and let the Lord’s peace wash over you.