Prayers

Preparing for the Messiah (Ten Suggestions for the Advent Season)

Advent is the season of four Sundays of Catholics leading to Christmas. It is the most anticipated season for me next to Christmas Eve.

I heard a lot of my married friends, both men and women, say that their wedding preparation led them to a more intimate way than in any day of their dating period to their soon-to-be-spouse. For years as a single person, I’ve seen and witnessed at a closer-range single friends prepared for the big wedding day by pouring their valuable resources like time, savings, efforts and creativity. As an active spectator to their sacrifices and efforts, it makes me think that the deeper a couple prepared for the wedding day, the deeper the wedding day becomes deeply heavenly special not only for the couple but for the wedding guests, too. I avoided using the term “more” as it connotes money and materialism. To prepare deeply is to prepare involving the “self”.

If Jesus is the groom, then advent is the season for preparation. It is the time to be drawn more into the groom for the wedding day which is Christmas.

If I can prepare for an event like dinner, job interview, talk-giving, family reunions, coffee time, staff meetings what more for the birth of the Jesus who was born to die and save for my sins.

If wanting Christmas to be celebrated more than gift – giving and festive of great foods, here are ways that I have done once or twice through the years as a single Catholic person where less money is involved but more of the true “self” is involved.

  1. Attend the 9-day “Simbang Gabi” that is starting from Dec 16 to Christmas Eve. Simbang – gabi has gained popularity worldwide and this like a 9-day novena dawn mass ending on Christmas eve.
  2. Attend the four Sunday masses of the Advent. Reflecting on the gospel for each Sunday, write hand-written love letters to your parents/grandparents/spouse on the first Sunday, to your Parish priest on the second, to all your siblings on the third and to yourself on the fourth Sunday. Then, hand it to them on Christmas day with a gift (depending on your options). If you don’t have any of those living, then it’s time to look for your “new parents”, “new siblings” and “new self” and parish priest.
  3. In one of those four Sundays, write down in a piece of paper the names of all people, you think, who have wronged you and prayerfully forgive them. I know this is not easy. I’ve done this one time and I had to do it while praying the rosary. In every mystery, I will reflect, forgive and lift that person per mystery. I know the Holy Spirit will guide you and for now I will avoid providing exact steps. This worth the de-cluttering of the heart.
  4. Seek the sacrament of confession.
  5. In one of those four Sundays, write down in a piece of paper the names of all people you think you have wronged and prayerfully seek the forgiveness of the Lord. I know this is not easy, again. I know the Holy Spirit will guide you and ask for the help of the Holy Spirit.
  6. Say “sorry” to that person you have wronged, maybe, through an FB message, email and or if occasion permits, do so in person.  Do not expect positive response from that person, just plain saying “sorry” is the mission. I know after prayerfully and completely lifting that person to Jesus before asking for forgiveness or saying “sorry” will refine your words with humility, love and authenticity.
  7. Spend an hour per day in the adoration chapel for the entire advent season (24 days) and ending on Christmas Eve.
  8. Read the entire gospel of Luke in first week of the advent, the gospel according to Matthew on the second, the gospel according to Mark on the third and the gospel of John on the fourth Sunday.
  9. For the next 24 days staring on the first Sunday of advent, in a daily basis, write down your prayers. I am telling you, for the first 7 days it may sound monotonous but as you progress you will sense direction to your prayer. Build a daily journal entry of prayer of not less than 200 words. Keep it and read during Christmas day during your prayer time.
  10. Daily mass starting first Sunday of advent.

You can do one, two or more of the above or have your own “combo” of mix and match, I know the Lord will draw Himself to you as you bring yourself closer to Him, the reason of the season.

For this year, I am targeting to do 8 of those.

God bless your preparation. Please do share to me your experience.

Thank you for sharing your time with me.

Love and Beauty,

Benia

If this has given you guidance and encouragement, please send me a “like” and “share”.

Please share your experience or comment down below if you have further suggestions.

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