When Thanksgiving is over, it’s all too easy to jump into the chaos of December, letting Advent take a backseat to the busyness of the season. How do we avoid that frantic pace and actually make room for Jesus in our hearts this year?
Dr. Edward Sri explains how this Advent, the Lord has special graces for each of us, if only we make space for him in our lives.
Snippet from the Show
“Make room for the divine Infant, for He desires to grow within your soul.” -Dom Prosper Louis Pascal Guéranger
Why four weeks of Advent? (2:40)
- The four weeks of Advent recalls the four thousand years of Biblical history. Advent walks us through that Biblical story. We’re entering into Israel’s longing for the Messiah—into humanity’s yearning for a savior. That’s what the season is all about.
Why so much purple during Advent? (3:48)
- Advent is a penitential season, a time when we do some acts of penance. In the early Church, it was almost treated as if it were another Lent. It included forty days of fasting, from the feast of St. Martin through Christmas day. In the ninth or tenth century, the Church eventually changed the fasting to abstinence, and shortened the forty days to four weeks.
What Abbot Dom Guéranger says about Advent (5:38)
There are three different kinds of men:
- Those who live saintly lives, living deeply in Jesus
- Those who have completely rejected God
- Those who want friendship with Jesus, but don’t live it out well. Those who fall into sin and become lukewarm.
Dom Guéranger describes this group, writing,
“Jesus is in them, but they are sick and weakly. Because they do not care to grow in His divine life. Their first love has become cold.”
Advent is for those of us who are in that final group … those of us who feel like we aren’t progressing in the spiritual life, or those of us who are going backwards.
Dom Guéranger writes,
“Our Lord knocks at the door of our hearts. He comes to ask us if we have room for him, for He wishes to be born in our house.”
But, if we allow ourselves to become too busy, we won’t hear him knocking.
Dom Guéranger continues:
“You who have had him within you, without knowing him, and have possessed him without relishing the sweetness of his presence, open your hearts to welcome him this time with more care and with more love. Jesus repeats his visit of this year with an untiring tenderness. He has forgotten your past slights. He would make all things new. Make room for the divine Infant, for He desires to grow in your soul.”
Maybe we’ve become slack in our spiritual life or in our relationships with others, but this Advent is the time for each of us to start over and rekindle our first love.
Practical ideas to help you make room for Jesus this Advent (11:00)
- Sacrifice: picture that the manger is your heart. It has a whole lot of stuff in it … your music, your entertainment, your money, your dreams, your obsessions. This advent, give up a little something to make room for the baby Jesus to be placed in that manger.
- Make a gift to our Lord in this season: An extra devotion, some spiritual reading, act of service or kindness to someone in your home or workplace, extra time for prayer.
- Make time for prayer each day in Advent: December is hard … ask yourself, how can I encounter God in the midst of all the expectations and pressure?
- Take a little time each day to close your eyes and talk to the Lord. You can tell him all the things you need to do, but that little space of extra care and attention for Jesus will allow him to make you new.