Sunday, November 28, 2004

Happy New Year!

Today, the First Sunday of Advent, is the first day in the Catholic liturgical year. On one level, this means that we at Loyola House will start using the new 2004-05 Jesuit ordo (a book listing the Mass readings and other particulars for each day's prayer and liturgy). On another level, this means our chapel will be spruced up with seasonally appropriate decorations and the priests among us will start wearing purple stoles and chasubles at Mass. On yet another level - the most important, in fact - the season of Advent offers all of us in the Church an opportunity to prepare ourselves spiritually for the commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ. In the next few weeks, many readers of this blog are likely to be busy with all kinds of preparations for the coming holidays - buying gifts, planning parties, writing and mailing cards, traveling long or short distances to visit loved ones, and so on. All these activities are characteristic of what we often call (if you'll forgive a somewhat trite phrase) "the spirit of the season." As such, all are an important part of the weeks leading up to Christmas. As we begin Advent, however, we should also recognize the original and still essential spirit of the season we're about to celebrate. In the coming days, while you're running from store to store, making key phone calls or looking for the right recipes, I hope you'll also take some time to consider the things you might do to welcome the One whose birthday we celebrate a scant 27 days hence. Glad tidings - AMDG.


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