Black Friday marks the beginning of the American rush to prepare and celebrate Christmas. From Black Friday to Christmas Eve,  Americans go shopping and exchanging gifts, cook, bake, decorate, celebrate, send out cards, have family gatherings, thank teachers, wish greetings to neighbors and friends and finally house lighting and decorating!  Are you tired yet?

This type of living can be a recipe for disaster for a mom wanting to do it all in a Pinterest Perfect way! So how do we find a healthy balance between preparing for Christ’s coming for our family in a spiritual and physical way? 

As Catholics, we have a wonderful gift and that is called the Season Advent, where we take time out to prepare for the real meaning of Christmas, similar to the relationship between Lent and Easter!  Mother Church shares with us in the Catechism on how she thinks we should prepare for Christmas.  

 “Daily conversion and penance find their source and nourishment in the Eucharist, for in it is made present the sacrifice of Christ which has reconciled us with God. Through the Eucharist, those who live from the life of Christ are fed and strengthened. It is a remedy to free us from our daily faults and to preserve us from mortal sins.” ( CCC1436)

Fasting and other forms of penance, such as prayer and almsgiving, help to purify our hearts and prepare us for very significant moments like celebrating Christmas and gaining a perspective on our life. When we take time out to go to Mass during the week to receive the Eucharist we find the source and goal of our Advent preparation: Christ Himself. Our Lord was born so that he could die for us. So do you think you could slow down your life enough to attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at least one more time during this final week of Advent? Or take time out to strengthen your faith life during Avent? If so, Christ will truly bless us with a peaceful Christmas no matter how much chaos and family drama surrounds us!

Let us pray:  Dear Jesus, help us to know you better during advent.  Amen.

May we all experience the blessing of the real meaning of the season of Advent and Christmas.