Why Advent

The Anchoress has this to say:

Advent coaxes us out. We look up and there is a darker sky than before. The stars show more clearly, and they inspire us to hack through the stuff that has begun to imprison us within the year so that we may walk a freer path, made clear. Engaged and with a certain goal, our awareness shifts and becomes heightened. We hear a memory: “All things, all senses, all times, all places are alive in the sight of their King.” And the King makes everything new.

Without Advent - without the putting up of purple in the midst of all the red and green in the tiring rush between Thanksgiving and the New Year - we might forget to mark this time, make straight this path, and ponder what transpired in a lonely cave in Bethlehem, 2000 years ago; what it meant then, and what it still means for all of us, today.

Lectio affirms the reason for the season:

Though not as emphatically penitential as Lent, Advent is a time when, after initially recalling that Jesus will come again triumphantly in glory, we strive to prepare ourselves to celebrate during Christmastide that first, humble coming of Jesus. Hopefully, this preparation will include a good Confession and a resolve to turn away from sin.

Jennifer reminds us why Advent is the pause that refreshes:

Now that I've been going to church for over a couple of years, I'm starting to internalize the ebb and flow of the liturgical year. The sights and sounds and smells of the church Saturday night immediately brought me back to the dark vigil Mass services of this time last year, and my whole body knew what season it was, and what was coming next; I knew without even having to think about it that we were entering a time of penance, reflection, and preparation that would be followed by a season of celebration and feasting.

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