Tuesday, November 29, 2016

On Advent

This Advent, as Christmas approaches, I’ve realized that I am so thankful for so many things.  I know that Thanksgiving is over, but it’s never too late to be thankful for something!  Here are a few things I’m grateful for:

1. 33 Days to Morning Glory
This daily meditation and preparation for consecration to Jesus through Mary is a wonderful and easy way to prepare one’s heart for Christmas.  What better way than through the heart of the one who said fiat to the LORD?  Fr. Michael Gaitley offers inspiration and meditative prayers through the eyes of some of the most influential and Marian-adoring saints, such as Sts.
Louis de Montfort, Maximilian Kolbe, and more!
The consecration is on December 8th; please pray I may find my way deeper into the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary!

2. Confession
As a Catholic, I have the most amazing opportunity to go to confession.  As a sacrament of the Church, confession gives you the chance to recall all of your sins and being released from the heavy fetters that sin brings upon us.  Even though it may feel nerve-wracking at some points, God will forgive.  He loves you. Always.

3. Advent
I love Advent.  The candles, the purple (and rose) vestments, the music; all of it makes me incredibly happy.  It wasn’t until I became Catholic that I rediscovered the “magical” feeling that the anticipation of Christmas brings.  Singing Veni, Veni, Emmanuel gives me chills just thinking about the waiting for Christ to come as a babe for all of us. 

4. Chapel Time
Time in the chapel is always important, no matter if you’re feeling down or ecstatic.  There’s something about my college’s chapel; the always-lingering smell of incense, the communion rails to pray at in front of the Sanctuary, the creaky, old pews, and the stained-glass windows of Christ, Mary, and the Saints.
Even if your parish isn’t open 24 hours, take some time in the adoration chapel.
Don’t’ have one? Look for the nearest one—it will make a difference.

5. Family and Friends Who Pray for You

As someone who’s struggled with depression, it’s easy to fall down the path of darkness and doubt.  That’s why it’s wonderful to have family and friends who are there to pray for you, to hug you, or to talk to you over Skype.  It can be especially difficult during the holiday seasons, so make sure you find someone if you’re struggling, or talk to someone who is. It will make their day, maybe even their year or life better!