What is the Purpose of Advent?
“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to ransom those under the law, so that we might receive adoption.” (Gal 4:4-5)
Advent is a liturgical season of the Catholic Church where we prepare to celebrate Christ’s first coming at Christmas and remember that we should be preparing for His second coming at the end of time. Advent is a time for devout and joyful expectation.
There are four Sundays of Advent, each celebrating a particular virtue of the Faith:
- 1st Sunday: We celebrate hope and a purple candle is lit. This is in remembrance of the prophets who foretold the birth of Jesus Christ and represents the anticipation of the coming Messiah.
- 2nd Sunday: We celebrate faith and another purple candle is lit. This is a reminder of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem, placing their trust in the Lord.
- 3rd Sunday: We celebrate joy and a pink candle is lit. This Sunday is known as Gaudete Sunday because we are reminded of the joy felt by the world at the birth of Christ.
- 4th Sunday: We celebrate peace and the last purple candle is lit. This reminds us of the message of the angels at the birth of Christ, “Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace to men of good will.” (Luke 2:14)
3 Unique Ways to Prepare for Christ
During this liturgical season, there are many ways to prepare for the Coming of Christ. The Station of the Cross has thought of 3 unique ways that you and your family can prepare.
1.) Practice Self-Denial
Try removing the items, activities, or relationships that detract from your spiritual life. Anything from excessive TV, working late, missing prayer, engaging with friends who encourage sinfulness, etc.
In place of these distractions, embrace small moments of silence so that you can listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit within you and create sacred space for Christ to enter your life.
2.) Commit to Praying with the Scriptures
St. Jerome firmly insisted that “ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ” because he “who does not know Scripture does not know the power and wisdom of God.” Some simple ways of accomplishing this may include reflecting on the Psalms or reading the Sunday Gospel passage during the week.
You could also commit to reading the Bible over the course of the next year or attending your local parish Bible Study.
3.) Learn More About the Catholic Faith
The season of Advent is a wonderful time for you or your family to reinvigorate your faith by diving deeper into what the Church believes and teaches. You can learn more about your faith in several ways:
- Sign up for an event with the Institute of Catholic Culture. These are free courses/lectures/live events on topics ranging from theology to philosophy to catechesis. All content is in accordance with the Magisterium and by Catholic professors and priests.
- Read the life and writings of the Saints. Saints are an example to the faithful on how to live in expectation for the Two Comings of Christ.
- Listen to authentically Catholic programming on The Station of the Cross. With over 20 radio programs on all topics of the Catholic faith, blog posts, and various social media accounts, The Station of the Cross seeks to present the Truth in clarity and charity.
Join Us in Prayer
Remember to take time for prayer, engage your faith, and prepare yourself spiritually for the Solemnity of Christmas.
Saint Charles Borromeo reminds us: “The Church asks us to understand that Christ, who came once in the flesh, is prepared to come again. When we remove all obstacles to his presence he will come, at any hour and moment, to dwell spiritually in our hearts, bringing with him the riches of his grace.”
You can join The Station of the Cross in prayer everyday at 3PM for the Liturgy of the Hours, a Holy Rosary, and the Divine Mercy Chaplet.
Lastly, be sure to check us out @thestationofthecross on all social media on Facebook and Instagram, and @iCatholicRadio on Twitter!