Prepare the Way for the Lord: Second Sunday of Advent

Posted December 7, 2014 in Faith / 0 Comments

Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight his paths: all flesh shall see the salvation of God. 

Alleluia Antiphon for the Second Sunday of Advent

Today is the Second Sunday of Advent. The Alleluia Antiphon and the readings for today remind us that Advent is a time of preparation, a time to prepare our hearts for the birth of Our Lord. It is a time to really look at our lives and conform them to the will of God. We want to be able to cry out “Here is your God!” as Isaiah calls us to in the First Reading {Isaiah 40:1-5,9-11). We want to be ready for the day “the Lord will come like a thief” {2 Peter 3:10}. We have to be ready for the Lord could come at any time.

Preparation of Prayer

Prayer is the first and foremost way we can prepare our hearts for Christmas. It is in prayer that we can talk to God and grow closer to Him. For myself, that means I am praying Morning, Evening, and Night Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours as well as a daily Rosary and a novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe. I am doing my best to dedicate my entire day to the Lord so that all I do, I can do with the Lord.

Preparation of Action

There are things we can do, besides prayer, that can help us to be ready for the Lord’s coming. We can be charitable this Advent. There are all sorts of programs we hear about that can really benefit from even a small donation. I, for one, like the Gift Catalog of Catholic Relief Services. It is amazing how much a small donation can do. For example, health exams for 12 children can be donated for jsut $25! That’s just over $2 per child! I find it utterly amazing what one small donation can do.

And there aren’t just online donations. There are programs in our own communities that would love for us to help them out. Some programs are simply looking for people to help organize a food bank or serve food at a free community dinner. These are things we can give without giving money. We can give our time to really change people’s lives.

Preparing for Jesus

There are countless other ways we can prepare ourselves for the coming of Jesus. No matter what we do, we always need to remember that Jesus is the reason. As many of the churches’ like to say this time of the year: “Keep Christ in Christmas.” If we didn’t have Jesus, there would be no Christmas. It is all about an infant boy born to poor parents in the Middle East over 2000 years ago. It is all about a baby who, though born in humble circumstances, is the Savior of the World.

Enjoy the Second Sunday of Advent!

amanda

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Review: The Elite

Posted December 3, 2014 in Reading, Review / 0 Comments

Review: The EliteThe Elite by Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection #2
Publisher: HarperTeen (2013)
Audiobook
{7 hours and 42 minutes} (336 pages)
Rating:
Also by this author: The One, The Heir, The Selection Stores: The Prince & The Guard
Also in this series: The One, The Heir, The Selection Stores: The Prince & The Guard
Reading Challenges: Read 2014

Synopsis

The Selection began with thirty-five girls.
Now with the group narrowed down to the six Elite, the competition to win Prince Maxon's heart is fiercer than ever—and America is still struggling to decide where her heart truly lies. Is it with Maxon, who could make her life a fairy tale? Or with her first love, Aspen?
America is desperate for more time. But the rest of the Elite know exactly what they want—and America's chance to choose is about to slip away.

Find the book: Goodreads, Amazon, Book Depository


 

I got this audiobook on Audible last year about this time before I drove across the country to return home from grad school. It was a great book to listen to when driving. I just finished rereading, or rather re-listening, to The Elite while walking back and forth to the school I work at.

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Advent: The Church’s New Year

Posted November 30, 2014 in Faith / 0 Comments

It is Advent again. Let me just share with you how much I adore Advent! The beautiful Advent when we await the coming of the Lord as an infant in a stable in Bethlehem. The season of Advent also contains some of my favorite feast days: the Immaculate Conception on December 8th, Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12th, Saint Lucy on December 13th (Did you know she’s my Confirmation saint?), and the Holy Innocents on December 28th.

Advent is beautiful to me because it is preparation, in particular preparation for the birth of the Lord Jesus. This is the season when the Church puts up more decorations, when people clean up their houses and put up lights. But it isn’t just the physical preparations for the Nativity of the Lord but also the spiritual. During the season of Advent I turn more towards prayer, especially daily prayer. As it was said in the homily today, it is during Advent when we remember that we can always come before the Lord, He is always waiting for us. It does not matter what time or place we pray for we can talk to our God anywhere, at any time.

It is during Advent when, children in particular, open Advent calendars. As a child I always had those ones with the fake-tasting chocolate in them. Now, I try to visit xt3’s virtual Advent calendar every day. As a child I wanted the chocolate. I’m sure I didn’t think that much about how the Advent calendar could inspire daily prayer. Now, however, that is exactly what I do.

Advent, as the Church’s New Year, is a great time to remember all that God has provided us with and to pray daily. Prayer doesn’t have to be long and tedious. It just has to be real, to really mean something. God is our Father and He wants us to speak to him. Let us all try to remember to speak to God daily this advent.

amanda

As a footnote: I have been recovering from being sick for the past almost two weeks, therefore, NaNoWriMo had no possible way to be finished and life has seemed super stressful. Now, in Advent, I hope things will slow down so I can just be.

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Review: The Singer of All Songs

Posted November 29, 2014 in Reading, Review / 0 Comments

Review: The Singer of All SongsThe Singer of All Songs by Kate Constable
Series: The Chanters of Tremaris #1
Publisher: Scholastic (2002)
Paperback (297 pages)
Rating:
Reading Challenges: Read 2014

Synopsis

Calwyn has never been beyond the high ice wall that guards the sisters of Antaris from the world of Tremaris. She knows only the rounds of her life as a novice ice priestess, tending her bees, singing her ice chantments, and dreaming. But then Calwyn befriends Darrow, a mysterious Outlander who appears inside the Wall and warns of an approaching danger. to help Darrow, to see the world, and perhaps to save it, Calwyn will leave the safety of the Wall for a journey with a man she barely knows – and an adventure as beautiful and dangerous as the music of chantment itself.

Find the book: Goodreads, Amazon, Book Depository


This is a book I have had for quite a while. Actually, I have the entire series. Every once in a while I pull them our for a reread. It has been a good two years since I last read this book.

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