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"Only two more days until Advent!" my daughter announced, enthusiastically.
"But who's counting?" I chuckled beneath my breath.
"What, Mom?" my daughter questioned.
"Oh, nothing! I mean, that's great!" I replied and flashed her a smile.
Despite being insanely busy over the last few weeks due to taking on a temporary video editing job, I couldn't help but acknowledge the fact that it was somehow impossible not to get caught up with my daughter's excitement about the approaching Advent season. Still, even in excitement's contagious wake, I found myself sobering a bit as something I had recently read popped into my mind.
Apparently, I may have approaching my Advent prep. season incorrectly for most of my life. As with most Christians, I have certainly always been aware that Advent is a season of waiting and preparing oneself for the coming of Christ's birth. And, of course, this preparation needed to occur both interiorly and exteriorly.
What I hadn't realized, however, is that the Church encourages a similar approach to that of the Lenten season, emphasizing deeper prayer, sacrifice and even fasting. Although there are no strict rules regarding fasting during Advent, the idea that we must continually work to die to ourselves to make ourselves completely open to Christ and what He longs to do in us is still maintained.
Considering this, I realized quickly what a challenge it could be to fast during Advent, since so much of it is heavily packed with joyous traditions and the all-important Christmas baking. Thankfully, I remembered that this time of year also provides countless opportunities to serve, an act that at its very essence requires sacrifice in some form. Armed with this new knowledge, I have been inspired to look for more opportunities to serve and weave fasting in and out between the festive moments. And, hopefully, I will remember to apply a Lenten mindset, ensuring that I will be more deeply preparing myself for the greatest birth in the history of life.
As we come across these opportunities during this upcoming Advent season, may our hearts realign with His, experiencing a humility that will draw us nearer to the most perfect example of humility the world has ever seen.
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