Countdown to Advent – Penance and Prayer

Advent has a bit of a penitential character as we wait and prepare for the coming of Christ, and it’s very appropriate that we work to grow in holiness through acts of penance or through an increase in pious acts.  For example:

  • Watch less television. (This sacrifice will give the added benefit of decreasing your family’s immersion in the consumerism that goes along with the season.)  You may want to replace this time by reading stories aloud together each evening.  There are many excellent Christmas stories with messages of love in action.
  • Continue your regular Friday sacrifices, but perhaps increase them in some way.
  • Look for opportunities to give.  Pick a gift tag from the Giving Tree at church, donate to a local food shelf, or send an anonymous gift card to a family you know who could use a little extra help this year.   This is the one time of year when our culture wholeheartedly supports charitable giving, and we are literally surrounded with possibilities!
  • Take a pilgrimage.  The Cathedral of Saint Paul has recently been declared The National Shrine of the Apostle Paul.  You can learn more about it here and will find the Mass schedule here.  Advent and Christmas are great times to visit our beautiful cathedral!
  • Praise God through music.  Your family is invited to attend our parish’s praise night,  Friday, December 4 at 7:00 p.m., or check the calendars of various parishes throughout the archdiocese.  Many hold concerts of sacred music during this season.

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