Fr. Mark-Mary talks about why Advent is the perfect season to deepen your prayer life.
The world is in desperate need of prayer right now, and Advent is the perfect time to build upon this need. Sometimes Advent can seem like just another season in the Catholic calendar where we put up decorations and celebrate Christmas, but Advent is actually for the those in crisis. Advent isn’t just about Christmas, it’s a reminder of what the world was like before the coming of Christ, and the light he brought to those who were in need of saving.
During Advent, we add the word “maranatha” into our prayers at Mass, which means “come, Lord Jesus.” The reason we say this is because in the days leading up to Christmas, we long for the arrival of our Savior, the one who will bring light into the darkness of this world and give hope to those in crisis. It’s meant to remind us that Jesus not only came to live on Earth, but he came so that we may be saved through his power. That the days of darkness are behind us, and all we have to look towards now is light.
One way we can hold this reminder in our hearts is by finding more time to pray. Fr. Mark-Mary’s suggestion is arrive 5 minutes early to some of our daily events and responsibilities and use that time for prayer. That time multiplies! Maybe you’re a student who’s taking online classes, or working remotely from home: try to sit down at your workstation 5 minutes before you need to, and just pray for the Lord’s guidance in your work. This could even be done when driving somewhere, or eating meals, or even doing chores. Just giving yourself a small amount of time to pray before everything you do will add up to a large amount of added prayer daily, and will help you prepare your heart for the coming of our Lord.
Find something consistent in your life, try to schedule 5 minutes of prayer beforehand, and write your commitment down to help remind you throughout the day. Even just 5 minutes of prayer added to our day will help align our minds with the Lord’s coming, and will create opportunities for our hearts to continually cry out “Maranatha; come, Lord Jesus.”
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Meet Fr. Mark-Mary
Father Mark-Mary was ordained as a Franciscan Friar of the Renewal (CFR) in 2018 and lives at a friary in the Bronx.
The mission of the CFRs is to wholeheartedly embrace Jesus through fidelity to the Church and her Sacraments. Paired with their commitment to prayer, contemplation, and study of Sacred Scripture, the CFRs serve those around them, especially the poor, in the footsteps of Christ.
Discover beautiful music from the CFRs and Fr. Mark-Mary’s book Habits for Holiness: Small Steps for Spiritual Progress, both available from Ascension.