A little late with this, but there’s still ample time to prepare. I just stumbled upon this infographic from Our Sunday Visitor with great ideas to do with your family.
I don’t have children, but I’m super excited to implement these things into my future family’s way of preparing for Christmas during Advent. For now, I took to seek some inspiration not only from this graphic, but from Pope Francis’s words from earlier today regarding his appeal to end global hunger (read more about it here).
idea #1//blessing bags
One thing I’m going to try this Advent is something called blessing bags. These are simply plastic Ziploc bags that you keep in your car to pass out to those you see who may need it while you’re out and about. There are many variations of these all over the internet, but I’ve come up with my own ideas on what want to put in them. I plan to put some travel sized toiletries like toothpaste, mouthwash, soap, deodorant, a toothbrush, tissues. Maybe a protein bar or some other non-perishable food item. I’d also like to put in a pair of gloves or socks. I really love this idea and can’t wait to go to the store tomorrow to pick these items up!
idea #2//go to confession
I was once asked by a priest, “If our Blessed Mother told you to do something, would you do it?” I without any hesitation said, “Of course!” He then proceeded to tell me that though the Catholic church requires one to go to confession at minimum once a year, Our Blessed Mother asks that we go once a month. I know, weeks fly by and before you know it, it’s been a couple of months or more since you’ve received the sacrament. What better time than now to truly prepare the way for the Lord into your heart by going to confession? Many times, I start to feel weighed down and sad… then I know it’s been too long! If you’d like to find out when a parish near you is offering confession, go here and type in your zip code. A little inspiration from St. Thomas Aquinas which really hits the nail on the head for me:
In the life of the body a man is sometimes sick, and unless he takes medicine, he will die. Even so in the spiritual life a man is sick on account of sin. For that reason he needs medicine so that he may be restored to health; and this grace is bestowed in the Sacrament of Penance.
–St. Thomas Aquinas
idea #3//set a daily goal of forgiveness
This one is especially hard for me. When I find myself struggling to let go of something, I remember one line from the Lord’s prayer, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” That really gets to me! I have to show forgiveness to others as I would want the Lord to show to me. To better prepare for Christ’s birth, I’m making a daily goal to really focus on showing grace and mercy to everyone in my life; even when they hurt me. This is something I hope to carry on permanently, but… baby steps! I feel like it’s a great time to really begin a focus on this because if it wasn’t for the birth of Jesus, I would not have the opportunity to be forgiven in the first place.
Those are the 3 things I’m going to try this Advent. What are you trying? Anything new or old you are implementing into your life this Advent?