Some profound points about Advent.

“The four weeks of Advent are a test of how profoundly or superficially we understand the meaning of life. In these weeks, the Church reveals the deepest mysteries: Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell. Christ saves us from the banality of skimming life on the surface: eating, working, shopping, sleeping, waking up and doing it all over again. He created us for great glory, and that is why people become frustrated when they ignore these great mysteries.”

Click here to read the rest of Fr. George Rutler’s profound points about Advent.

An Advent prayer.

Come, long-expected Jesus. Excite in me a wonder at the wisdom and power of Your Father and ours. Receive my prayer as part of my service of the Lord who enlists me in God’s own work for justice.

Come, long-expected Jesus. Excite in me a hunger for peace: peace in the world, peace in my home, peace in myself.

Come, long-expected Jesus. Excite in me a joy responsive to the Father’s joy. I seek His will so I can serve with gladness, singing and love.

Come, long-expected Jesus. Excite in me the joy and love and peace it is right to bring to the manger of my Lord. Raise in me, too, sober reverence for the God who acted there, hearty gratitude for the life begun there, and spirited resolution to serve the Father and Son.

I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, whose advent I hail. Amen.


Christmas is coming.

Christmas is coming. And it is, in my opinion (though possibly in fact), the most wonderful time of the year.

I realize that as I write this, it has only been 10 hours since I ate turkey on Thanksgiving. But there is more to Thanksgiving’s end than a tryptophan-induced coma. The end of Thanksgiving signifies the beginning of Advent, a liturgical season in which followers of Christ await and prepare for the celebration of His birth.

It is also when all kinds of people lose their freakin’ minds. Sometimes, the holiday mind-loss is voluntary (case in point: shopping on Black Friday.). Other times, people don’t pre-plan to do things that are crazy. They only succumb to the insanity when the voluntarily-crazies cut them off with cars and shopping carts or call them out for paying with checks instead of credit.

And so what happens is, while we go into Advent intending to prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ, we get a little distracted when we have to fight over the last can of pumpkin puree, or to get into and out of parking spots, or with some kid’s angry grandma because she yelled at us when we glanced at the last set of Harry Potter Legos and she thought doing so meant we’d try to take it from her cart.

Not a particularly productive way to spend the season. Also, thankfully, not a necessary way to spend it. There is a moving, rebellious alternative: the Advent Conspiracy. If you haven’t heard of it, take 2 minutes and 39 seconds to watch this:

Feeling free to conspire yet?

From the Advent Conspiracy blog:

1. [AC] was created by three pastors who simply wanted to challenge people to make Christmas personal again. We are asking folks to consider doing four things: Worship Jesus Fully, Consider Spending Less on gifts that are bought out of obligation, Give More relational gifts, and use a little bit of the money you didn’t spend to Love All by helping those in need.

2. No money comes through, to, under, over or around [AC]. We are not an organization. We’re a movement.

3. We really love giving people clean water (did you know the lack of clean water is the number one killer in our world). You should check out Living Water International for more info. That being said, we want you to make this a personal thing between you and God. If you have another organization that you wish to support, go for it!

Happy Advent!