Sunday, December 11, 2011

Preparing Our Families During Advent

"The fecundity of conjugal love cannot be reduced solely to the procreation of children, but must extend to their moral education and their spiritual formation."(Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2221)

During Advent we hear much about "preparation." Advent is a time to prepare our hearts for the coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  With the busy-ness of life, this can be difficult to accomplish.  However, the Catechism, points to a responsibility for the preparation and formation of our children, too, and not just ourselves. According to the Church, no one can replace parents in this responsibility of forming the minds and hearts of their children. 

This Advent, consider the time and energy put into holiday preparations like shopping, gift-giving, parties, and more.  Are these activities balanced out and put into perspective by activities centering on the true meaning of Christmas?  For instance, consider gathering the family to read the infancy narrative in Luke 2. Make a family Advent wreath and light the appropriate candles with each new week. Research and create a Jesse Tree. Most importantly, make time for weekend Mass and the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  Small things like this can make Advent spiritually enriching for both parents and children.

Heavenly Father, wipe away all distractions in our lives.  Help us to put you first in all things!

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