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December 2013 | No 37
ISSN 2009-2008
 
Last week, we were happy to offer you an opportunity to do our Advent retreat, prepared in cooperation with Pray as you go. This week we are delighted to enhance your experience of Advent by offering you some resources from our friends at Loyola Press, a Jesuit ministry based in Chicago.
Advent, we know, is a time for preparation, but it goes beyond decking the halls. During Advent, we prepare for Christ’s birth, in its time an event fraught with hardship, but by the miracle of God’s love for us, revealed our Savior Jesus Christ. Advent is often overlooked as simply the “lead up to Christmas”; however, by focusing on the key themes and messages of Advent, we can connect more deeply to the miracle of Christmas.
Be Willing
Advent is a short season that happens during a time often marked with shopping, gift wrapping, and party-prepping. Rather than see Advent as the runner-up to the Big Show, we can seek out ways to savor the anticipation, to delight in the preparation, and to temper the feelings of hustle-and-bustle. By being more present in the moments of Advent, we are free to be centered on spiritual rejuvenation.
Be Present
Advent is a time to give ourselves the present of presence. As St. Ignatius wrote, we can find God in all things, and yes, that includes the everyday errands. The key is to take the time to notice the moment and reflect on the grace of God’s gift. While waiting in holiday traffic, while chopping vegetables for a meal, while stringing lights on the tree, we can rest our hearts on God and see that we are blessed.
Be Open
Children often delight over the tradition of the Advent calendar, as it can bring little surprises every day. But instead of trinkets and chocolates, create an Advent calendar in your heart, one that allows a reprieve from the routine, a spiritual resting place. Each time we open the little door in our hearts, we welcome God into our lives, and together we wait in joyful hope for the birth of Jesus.

Another way we anticipate and prepare for festive and joyous coming of Christ is by participating in an Advent retreat. Look for additional inspirational prayers and articles about Advent here as well.

Many blessings this Advent season to you!

Advent Reading Suggestions

Pope Francis: Why He Leads the Way He Leads
by Chris Lowney
Best-selling author and former Jesuit seminarian Chris Lowney delves into what made Pope Francis who he is today and the impact of his Jesuit formation.
HC | 4008-9 | $22.95
PB | 4091-1 | $16.95

 

Daily Inspiration for Women: Seasons of a Woman’s Life
New from Margaret Silf, Ginny Kubitz Moyer, Vinita Hampton Wright, and Jessica Mesman Griffith
This page-a-day collection of shared wisdom from Ginny Kubitz Moyer, Jessica Mesman Griffith, Vinita Hampton Wright, and Margaret Silf provides a wealth of experience, knowledge, support, and inspiration for women.
PB | 4041-6 | $12.95

 

The Ignatian Adventure: Experiencing the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola in Daily Life
by Kevin O’Brien, SJ
Kevin O’Brien, SJ, offers 32 weeks of prayer and meditations to draw people into a deeper encounter with God in the midst of their busy lives.
PB | 3577-1 | $14.95