It’s officially Advent! This is one of my favorite Liturgical seasons — a season of HOPE and a season of preparation.
St. John Paul II said Advent is synonymous with hope. But it’s not, “the vain waiting for a faceless God.” Rather, it’s a, “concrete and certain trust in the return of Him who has already visited us.”
I’m good at the hope part (most of the time), but the preparation part is something I haven’t done too well in the past… That’s one of the things I intentionally wanted to work on this Advent.
And as you might have noticed, it’s been a little quiet on the blog here lately and that’s because I’ve been working on a special project for Advent: the Pray More Advent Retreat.
The Pray More Retreat is an online retreat for the season of Advent that focuses on slowing down & preparing to receive Jesus at Christmas.
Because Jesus Christ comes at Christmas.
He comes into our world as a man — as a baby, to share in our humanity. And this changes everything.
When Jesus comes, the darkness turns into light. And this is something we are all in deep need of; light — light and hope.
But a big problem of our society is that we’ve placed our hope in many other things over the years; in other people, in our culture, in our jobs, security, health, home, etc.
And those things have let us down. They haven’t fulfilled us. They haven’t brought us true happiness. Or peace.
Jesus Christ is the only one who can bring us those things — and more.
The way I see it, that can really only happen if our hearts and minds are oriented towards Him, prepared for Him — purified for Him. Certainly, God works past our limitations. But I think He might be able to work even greater in our lives when we do some of the work, too, and invite Him in.
That’s what the Pray More Advent Retreat is all about: quieting down this Advent season, not getting lost in the hustle & bustle of the Christmas season before it’s actually Christmas, and truly preparing our hearts to receive the Lord when He comes this Christmas.
The retreat is all online and it’s all self-paced.
It includes 20 different videos — some are 10 minutes long, others are 20 minutes long, and each of those talks come with a short study guide (one of my favorite parts of the retreat), a transcript of the talk (in case you prefer to read it) and an audio download so that you can listen to the presentation wherever you are — even when you’re on the go.
We wanted to make the retreat as accessible as possible — so you can be a part of it anywhere and at anytime this Advent — because we know that everyone is just so busy.
Here are some of the topics the retreat covers:
+ Discovering the Joy in Advent
+ Six Ways to Keep Your Advent Season Holy
+ The Lifelong Journey of Holiness
+ St. John Paul II and the Holy Eucharist
+ How St. Therese of Lisieux Teaches us to Live Simply with Great Love
+ What the “Our Father” Teaches Us About Prayer
+ St. Ignatius of Loyola’s Process of Reflecting on the Gospels
+ Living as a Redeemed People in a Broken World
+ Isaiah, the Prophet of Christmas
+ “Was it Not Necessary?” (Jesus’s Suffering, and Ours)
+ Turning to Mary During Advent
You can see the rest of the topics of each of the talks here:
That’s also where you can sign up 🙂
As Pope Francis said, Advent is a journey towards Bethlehem.
“May we let ourselves be drawn by the light of God made man.”