Friday, December 2, 2011


The candle picture is from Google Images, added to and improved by me with Picnik.

It's that time of year again.  Not the Winter Holidays, not crazy-shopping-time, not even Christmas just yet.  It's Advent.  It's the time to prepare for the birth of Our Lord.

The Church uses the preparation for the feast of Christ's birth as a time to think about Our Lord's Second Coming as well.  We may not have been there to help Joseph and Mary find an inn, we may not have been able to offer them our home or even to come with the shepherds to see the new-born King, but we can prepare for when He comes again, not as a frail babe, but as the Lord of the World. (Incidentally, the book by this name is highly thought-provoking....a very interesting read for those who want something Catholic and a bit deeper than the usual post-apocalyptic-type fare.)

Now, you may be thinking, "why in the world would I have to prepare now for Christ's Second Coming?  It's not like the world's going to end tomorrow or anything.  Gosh."  Well, maybe the world won't end tomorrow (then again...hmm...), but we should always be prepared because as Our Lord said, no man knows the day or the hour when the world will end - or when we will end.  The world could end for us at any time, which is a very important thing to remember.  We humans spend a lot of time worrying about the end of the world: we make (dumb) movies about it, we write books about it, and some of us make false prophecies about it (which an unfortunately large amount of people believe and which get all over the media).  But we spend very little time thinking of our own personal end - perhaps because it is our own end, and it happens to everyone.  Now, may I ask if you're ready to die today? Tomorrow? Even next month?  I didn't think so.  I'm not either.

If we only thought more about our last end, we'd be ever so much better than we are.  Realizing that you have no guarantee on the continuation of your life has a tendency to make you want to reform it.  This is what the Church wants us to think about during Advent - not just buying presents and listening to Christmas music - though those things are all right in themselves - but seeing where we're going wrong, and fixing it. 

Let us spend this Advent bettering ourselves, and then when Christmas comes, we can offer all our work to the newborn Jesus and tell him that we tried very hard to be ready for Him, and that we'll keep trying until we die.  He's sure to bless us abundantly for our efforts.

I shall leave you with one of the only two true Advent carols, beautifully performed by Orla Fallon on my favorite Christmas CD Winter, Fire, and Snow.

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