A little light burns

What a joyous season, what a peaceful season! A time to reflect on our lives, to start anew, and ready ourselves for the Feast of the Incarnation. Today we put away the Thanksgiving centerpiece with its gourds and harvest colors and brought out the Advent box. The table has been set with the Advent wreath and calendar, and purple and pink pervade the house. I love this feeling of a clean slate, that the whole liturgical cycle has come full circle and we set off again after Christ. It's interesting to think that in the Spring we have Carnivale, then Lent, then Easter, and then we parallel that with Thanksgiving, then Advent, then Christmas. Advent and Lent hold a very similar purpose- drawing us closer into our relationship with Christ; both seasons are times for repentance and preparation. But I appreciate the Advent feeling so much more. It's much more optimistic than Lent. If you've already put up the Christmas lights, do yourself a favor and ready your heart and spirit for the coming of Christ. Spend these days of Advent in reflective prayer, asking yourself what are the ways in which you can mend your relationship with God.
-reposted from 2004

Deacon posts to an LA Times article that should put us in the right frame of mind.

Inside Catholic offers depth from the pen of Tom Howard.

CERC has some good articles as well:

on the season

the wreath

and the Antiphons

And here's a beautiful reflection from the Abbey of Saint Walburga.

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