Monday, December 5, 2011


 Gradual, First Sunday of  Advent, 14th century Netherlands.

According to the 1907 Catholic Encyclopedia, during Advent

"the faithful are admonished to prepare themselves worthily to celebrate the anniversary of the Lord's coming into the world as the incarnate God of love, thus to make their souls fitting abodes for the Redeemer coming in Holy Communion and through grace, and thereby to make themselves ready for His final coming as judge, at death and at the end of the world."

Traditionally, this preparation has been done through increased prayer and fasting.   Indeed, Advent is sometimes called "a little Lent."   The Church places less emphasis on fasting nowadays, but I hope this will change, since I have always found fasting a very healthy spiritual practice.

Nothing makes the twelve days of Christmas merrier than having prepared for them with a rigorous Advent.

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