I don’t know about you but I have thought many times how wonderful it must have been for Mary to bring baby Jesus into the world and to know Him. To get to hold Him and love on Him. As mothers we understand the sweet joy when we have our newborns in our arms. We gaze at them in absolute wonder, amazed at this little baby we brought into the world. Our hearts explode with love for the bundle of joy we hold. The first time I really was able to see Mary as more than this perfect woman whom God had chosen to carry His son was watching the movie The Passion. Watching that movie was the first time I understood how much I could learn about Jesus through Mary. The scene where Jesus is carrying the cross and falls and Mary has a memory of Jesus falling down as a young boy broke my heart. I remember thinking of my son and how many times I have helped him back up when he had fallen. Cleaned up his wounds. It was the first time I was fully aware of the fact that Mary was Jesus mother. She loved Him and wanted to protect Him. I am reminded how much I can help someone to understand my son because of our walk together through life. So why wouldn’t Mary be the perfect way for us to learn about her Son.
With this in my heart I desire to slow down and enjoy the waiting. Learn from the Blessed Mother. Here are some ways I plan to do that.
Advent- Slowing Down and Making it Holy
Advent Season seems to always come and go so quickly. The hustle and bustle of everyone shopping, getting houses decorated, visiting family, baking, church events and the list goes on. For years I have always been frustrated that the season came and went and I didn’t get the chance to slow down and walk with Our Blessed Mother and wait for our Lord. This year promises to be no different. With all the changes in our lives I am finding myself making plans to go see family and trying to get things done before I leave. For the first time in our seventeen years of marriage I will not be with my husband for Christmas. But this has helped me to really think about slowing down and savoring the time. Letting the Advent Season be a complete different season from Christmas. I plan to take it one day at a time. But I have my fighting gloves on and am going to fight to make this year different. I am going to soak it all in. I am going to make this journey with Our Blessed Mother. There are so many ways we can do this.
I have been trying to come up with ideas to make the Season more meaningful and have come up with a couple ideas….
My husband, Don and I started it yesterday, the first Sunday in Advent by going to adoration. What a blessing! A perfect way to start the Season was to spend it with our Lord. We sat there with several other parishioners who felt the same pull to spend time with Jesus. As a group we recited the Rosary, alternating between English and Spanish, it was so peaceful, I didn’t really want it to end. Earlier in the day, Don had gone digging through the Christmas decorations in search of my mother in laws Advent wreath. We were worried that it would be hard to find due to combining households but Don found it and we were sure to put it on the table right away. After such a wonderful and peaceful time, I made a decision to go to Adoration at least once a week as long as it is available to me.
Advent candle and scripture with dinner
The second thing we added to our routine was lighting the Advent candle at dinner time. Then I found a list of scripture to read each night together as a way of walking our way with our Blessed Mother as she waits for her precious Son. Tonight, Don read John 1:1-5. It really made dinner feel special as we said our prayers and Don read the scripture.
Pray More Novenas-The Pray More Advent Retreat
And then…….I came across a special retreat. One that is done online. It is online, but offers speakers and reflections all through Advent!! I felt like I found just what I needed. A retreat at home. One that doesn’t require that I travel. But that I can go through the information at my own pace. Today was day one and I just love it! The title of the first presentation is called Six Ways to Keep Your Advent Season Holy Part I by Elizabeth Ficocelli. I was so excited to listen to it. It is just a short presentation but just chuck full of good information. Plus it comes with reflective questions, which I am going to use to journal with. If you are looking for a way to add to your advent season go to PrayMoreRetreat.com and see about signing up for this retreat.
Saint Andrew Novena-A Christmas Novena
I will also be praying the Saint Andrew Novena starting on November 30 until Christmas Day. I love this prayer! I find it to be a daily reminder that we are waiting on our Savior to be born. The Saint Andrew Christmas Novena is often called simply the “Christmas Novena” or the “Christmas Anticipation Prayer,” because it is prayed 15 times every day from the Feast of Saint Andrew the Apostle (November 30) until Christmas. It is an ideal Advent devotion; the First Sunday of Advent is the Sunday closest to the Feast of Saint Andrew. The following is the short prayer to recite 15 times a day.
Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God! to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother. Amen.
In my quest to walk this journey with Mary, I believe that the Rosary is one of the best ways to do that. I love the scripture rosary in which for every Hail Mary you hear a scripture reading. It takes a little bit longer, but I love how I can stay focused on the scriptures through the Rosary and not be just quickly reciting the Hail Mary’s. I have found Rosary Army’s YouTube video to be a great way to recite the Rosary, watching the video you have the pleasure of listening to Greg and Jennifer Willits recite the prayer with the scripture. The video I watched today can be found at Scriptural Rosary Glorious.
So, there you have it. The ways I am hoping to walk through this Advent Season and be closer to Jesus. My attempt to close out all the noisy consumerism and grow in my faith. I hope you will leave a comment below and share how you plan to enjoy Advent.