As the month of December opens, we have already begun to experience our culture’s mad rush to celebrate Christmas, bringing us in just a matter of hours from Halloween to Christmas Day.
Every year, we see this instant transformation; but we have to wonder what happened to the season before Christmas; when the priest wears purple, when the candles are lit one by one, week by week, and the atmosphere of anticipation continues to grow and grow, as the light from the candles grows brighter and brighter? This season is Advent. The word “advent” comes from the Latin word, “adventus”, which means, “a coming, approach, or arrival”. In the season of Advent, Christmas has not come yet. Christmas is coming; and what is Christmas?
Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ who entered our world out of love for us over 2000 years ago. The period of Advent now is a symbolic waiting- we relive the joy of the reality that after all humanity’s waiting, He really came!
“Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given!” (Isaiah 9:6)
Today, though, our waiting is also real. We are still waiting for the coming of our Savior. Though we are not waiting for Him to come into our world as a little infant, we are waiting for Him to come to us in a few different ways: daily, we wait for Him to come into our hearts; we are waiting for Him to come into our world at the end of time; and we are waiting for Him to bring us to Heaven with Himself, eternally. During Advent, we are joyful and hopeful in the knowledge that He did come once, and that He will indeed come again in our lives.
At Santa Teresita, we try to enter into the beautiful liturgical season of Advent and spiritually prepare our hearts through prayer, to allow our hearts to enter into the joy of Christmas. Mother Luisita wrote to one of her sisters, one December many years ago:
“May you spend the beautiful Advent season in a saintly manner is my desire.” (Letter 162)
Let’s revel in the beauty of the season of Advent and spend it in a saintly manner, sweeping our hearts clean to prepare for the coming of the King, inviting Him to take over our lives, each day and for all eternity.