We’re nearing the end of the O Antiphons, the nights are at their longest, and the days are all too brief. I’ve been praying the St. Andrew Novena this month, and it’s become a part of the season. I pray it when I’m driving, when I’m washing dishes, when I’m feeding the stove. I end up praying it more than 15 times a day, but too often I forget how often and pray it again.
Advent is the best season for forging new relationships with saints, for doting on the Christ Child, and for filling the whole house with light. We have candles everywhere and balsam boughs on the altar.
This season, my devotions have been very intentional. I’ve picked a word for 2019 – Renewal – and my Advent season is a preparation for that year of newness. We’ll be devoting the year to the Infant of Prague: entrusting Him with everything and honoring Him in a daily way.
O Infant of Prague, Who said,
“The more you honor Me, the more I will bless you,”
give us the strength to bear the burdens
daily life in this sinful world.
Give us a firm purpose of amendment
and a resolver to lead a better life.
Help us endure our afflictions and sorrows
with patience and courage.
Finally, O Beloved Infant King,
if it be Your Will, grant my petitions:___.
But whatever You choose, give me the strength
to submit to Your Will in all things. Amen.
We’re planning a year of bright newness, a year of rebirth, a year of giving the gifts of love and devotion to the Christ Child and welcoming Him into our home.
At the end of Advent, my primarily goal is preparing the house and our hearts for Christmas Eve. Traditionally, the Vigil of Christmas is the day that indicates the trends of the next year.
“As goes Wigilia, so goes the year” – and so I try to have a clean house and a happy mood on the day that welcomes in the future. There’s quite a bit to do still in pursuit of that joyful state; but today, while the rain pours down, I am content in our little house, knowing that if nothing else happens my house is ready to predict the new year.
How do you prepare for Christmas, all? I’d love to learn from your traditions!
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Most holy Theotokos, save us!
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