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St. Mary Magdalen's
Catholic Church
Willesden Green
London NW10
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Friday, November 30, 2012
1st Sunday of Advent 2nd December 2012
How are your Christmas Preparations Going? We have 22 shopping days to Christmas. Are you getting stressed worrying about getting the Christmas cards done, buying all the presents, planning the food and cooking, wondering about the family get together and whether like last year there will be another row? Well what about your spiritual preparation for Christmas? How is that going? Or have you forgotten about that? There's nothing wrong with pre-Christmas preparations. But it's important to balance the sacred part of the Advent with all of the other things you are doing. If you don't make time for quiet reflection, prayer and conversion of heart, you will find yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually exhausted by Christmas Day. Your Christmas celebration might look perfect on the surface, but deep down you will feel spiritually unsatisfied. You will have a hard time experiencing the joy and peace that the baby in Bethlehem brings. The word "Advent" comes from the Latin Adventus, which means "coming." We anticipate the coming of Christ from two different perspectives. The readings prepare us for the birth of Jesus, but they also prepare us for the Second Coming of Jesus at the end of the world. So how should we prepare? 1. First decide what you are going to say ‘No’ to. To stay spiritually grounded we must leave time for our spiritual stuff, which means we cant say ‘yes’ to everything secular. 2. Change your prayer – I assume you have a daily ‘God-time’ for personal prayer and meditation. If not, now is the perfect time to start. If you are praying daily and say using devotional prayers, why not switch to reading the bible – eg the readings of the day. If you cant come to daily Mass, why not read the Gospel of the day (Bible Alive, or a Daily Missal) . 3. Plan to go to confession—Don’t forget Advent is a penitential season! 4. Do choose some entertainment. We all benefit from the relaxation that entertainment gives us. We actually need to make healthy recreation a part of our lives – we are not robots, after all. But do something different. Deacon Michael

posted by Sinead Reekie at 11:14 am