Happy Catholic new year! Sunday, December 1, marks the first day of the 2019 Advent Season and the first day of the Church’s liturgical calendar, making it our Catholic new year’s day! Many of us strive to make changes for a great start to a new calendar year, so why not start your Church year in the same way?
At the beginning of this new liturgical year and Advent season, God is waiting for you to invite him in. “Every liturgical year, he wants to visit you and I anew and bring us to a new depth of spiritual life, a new depth of spiritual growth. And we should be expecting that … there’s always more that God would want to do in us. And if we’re always expecting that then God will work in power,” explained Fr. Paul Cannariato, priest of the Archdiocese of Newark.
During this time of the year the days are short, but you can find the light of Christ even in the darkest days. Let’s search for that light in this new season.
“As we look at the darkness on the outside, we need to be aware of the darkness of sin that may be lurking inside of us and the desire to root that out so that the light can truly shine within us—the light of Jesus. … God wants to do great work of transformation in us and if we allow him to do that, he will do great things in us. He can truly be born anew in our hearts this Christmas,” said Fr. Paul.
When you open your heart to God’s call, your faith grows and matures. Why not use this Advent as an opportunity to make strides in your spiritual growth? Here are some ways to walk with Christ and deepen your faith during this season:
Read the Advent Scriptures
“The Advent Scriptures are beautiful. The prophet Isaiah, the prophet Jeremiah—they challenge us as well as invite us to the more that there is. The call of John the Baptist: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his path.’ I get excited by the Advent scriptures, they kind of wake me up and call me to a vigilance,” said Fr. Paul. Read and meditate on these scripture readings and listen to how God is speaking to you through them this season.
Go to Confession
Maybe you went last week and maybe it’s been fifty years—either way, make a point to make a good Confession during this Advent Season. It will surely set you on the right path for this liturgical year and help you to have a much more joy-filled Christmas. If you need help, check out the Confession Helper on the free Relevant Radio app.
“I want to encourage people not to be afraid to approach the sacrament and to receive the grace and mercy that’s there waiting for you. It’s a wonderful gift that God wants to give us in this Advent season!” encouraged Fr. Paul.
Subscribe to Advent Inspirations
If you like quick ways to infuse your season with inspiration and encouragement, check out Father Rocky’s Advent Inspirations. They’re one-minute long daily audio clips to give you something to ponder on the journey toward Christmas. Hear them on-air during December and subscribe to receive them in your inbox each morning of Advent. LEARN MORE
Happy new (liturgical) year and a blessed Advent to you!
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