Saturday, December 05, 2009

Second Sunday in our Advent...

How has your Advent being going? Are you finding it hard to stay focused on quietly waiting the birth of our Saviour when the rest of the secular world is already partying and maybe even your own church is already celebrating the Christmas Season when it is really still Advent?

It is hard to find that balance between allowing your children and family to participate in Christmas parties and activities that are already happening while also observing the quiet waiting that Advent asks of us. Most years I try to have a number of Advent activities planned and last year we had home made Advent calendars that had activities and prayer suggestions behind the numbers on them. And if we should want to have a party during Advent we try to plan it as close as possible to one of the many Feast days that are in December. We have St Nicholas Day, The Immaculate Conception, Saint Lucy, Our Lady of Guadeloupe to choose from.

This year after a whole month of serious illness in our family I did not really have time or energy to plan much in the way of activities. I did manage to make three Advent chains with the younger children, which we did last year. I love this simple activity. Chains are a sign of bondage and this paper chain that we make out of purple and rose coloured construction paper is a wonderful visual reminder not only of how we are coming closer to Christmas and the birth of the Light of the world, but also a reminder of how Christ's birth, death, and resurrection saved us from the bondage of sin. This chain can actually completely replace the traditional calendar if you choose to do so and can simply be paper links the child tears off daily or you can choose to write on each link an activity, small sacrifice or prayer intention for you to do as an individual or family. It is also a very inexpensive activity so that you can easily afford to make one for each child and ease that tension that sometimes comes as children struggle to remember who opened the last window on the calendar.

I have only two other activities planned for Advent, one is an open house on the Feast day Of Our Lady of Guadeloupe and another is a spiritual exercise built around the Cardinal Virtues. I had hoped to have this exercise researched and written in time for the first Sunday in Advent but this was not the case as we were still recovering from the long illnesses that struck in early November. So we will either begin it tonight or tomorrow; the second Sunday in Advent. My hope is to help create more peace in our home than there has been recently through the study of the virtues and how they help us as well as the the resulting 7 Capital sins that can trip us up through the lack of practicing the virtues in one's life.

Our children are good children and are usually very happy but over the past months some bad habits have formed and we need to weed these out sooner than later. What better time to focus on this than Advent and what better way to replace a bad habit than to practice a good one. I plan on sharing this activity later with my readers but first I have two priests reading it to make sure that there are no glaring errors in it. So once more I suggest that you stay tuned!


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