ON ADVENT 2:
INTERIOR PREPARATION FOR CHRISTMAS
In a talk I gave last year to Grade 1 (7 yr-old) girls, I asked them what they were doing to prepare for the Coming of the Child Jesus.
A blonde, chubby girl answered: “I’m preparing the Nativity Scene in our house”…Another girl with pony tails said: “I helped Dad and Mom decorate the Christmas tree.”
I told them that all these things are quite all right but there is something more important than the exterior preparations…What then would that be?
An adorable girl with a red headband replied: “Portándome bien y siendo buena” (By behaving myself well and being a good girl). – “Very good!,” I exclaimed.
The best answer, however, came from a girl with curly hair who said: “PREPARANDO MI CORAZÓN PARA QUE JESÚS ESTÉ CONTENTO” (BY PREPARING MY HEART, SO THAT JESUS MAY BE HAPPY)…..[yesss!!!]… Out of the mouth of the babes….
External preparations form part of the season of Advent: they help create the Christmas atmosphere of joy and expectation. A lot of people, moms especially, are much busier these days –poor moms…I salute you for your self-giving– planning ahead the meals, shopping for gifts, planning for office Christmas parties, sending Christmas cards (although this nice gesture is becoming less common nowadays) …etc. All these are part of Advent season but then not the most important… 😀
LET US NEVER LOSE SIGHT OF THE UTMOST IMPORTANCE OF OUR INTERIOR PREPARATION to celebrate the 1st Coming of Our Lord: “PREPARANDO MI CORAZÓN PARA QUE JESÚS ESTÉ CONTENTO” (BY PREPARING MY HEART, SO THAT JESUS MAY BE HAPPY) as the little girl with curly hair said with all the simplicity and truth which can only come from a child.
I remember an anecdote which involved the now St. John Paull II. It was in the Advent Season of 1980 when Pope John Paul II met with thousands of children from different parishes of Rome. He began his catechesis by asking: “How are you preparing yourself for Christmas?”
–“With prayer”, the kids answered .
“Very well, with prayer”, said the Pope, “BUT ALSO WITH CONFESSION. YOU HAVE TO GO TO CONFESSION IN ORDER TO RECEIVE OUR LORD AFTER IN COMMUNION. Will you do it?”
– Those thousands of kids answered in a loud chorus: “Yes, we will do it!”
– “Yes, you have to do it”, the Pope told them. And in a low volume: “THE POPE WILL ALSO GO TO CONFESSION IN ORDER TO WORTHILY RECEIVE THE CHILD JESUS”.
DEAR FRIENDS, LET US NOT LOSE SIGHT OF THE INTERIOR PREPARATION WHICH OUR LORD ASKS FROM EACH ONE OF US. LET US NOT BE AFRAID “TO CLEAN THE HOUSE INSIDE OUT” BY OPENING OUR SOUL TO HIS GRACE ASKING FORGIVENESS FOR OUR SINS IN THE SACRAMENT OF CONFESSION IF WE ARE NOT IN THE STATE OF GRACE OR IF WE HAVEN’T GONE FOR A LONG TIME.
I assure you that a well-done Confession, in spite of the initial shame,
is worth all the effort to humble ourselves before God:
it is only when our soul is in the state of grace
shall Jesus have“a place in our inn (Matthew 2:7)”
and will recover the profound happiness
of being once more friends of God.
Besides, it is the BEST GIFT you could give
to Baby Jesus and to yourself as well 😀 !
So, ¡ánimo! (Courage!): GOD IS WAITING FOR YOU TO DISCOVER THE REAL INTERIOR JOY OF HAVING HIM IN YOUR SOUL.
But wait, there’s another thing we can do:
St. Josemaría used to advise laymen and women faithful of Opus Dei, using a hyperbole:
“Kill your brother priests by bringing
a lot of your friends to them for Confession.”
This is surely another good way to live the season of Advent:
ENCOURAGING OUR FRIENDS TO CONFESSION IN A PLEASANT WAY, ALWAYS RESPECTING THEIR FREEDOM. WITH THIS, YOU WILL BRING JOY NOT ONLY TO THEIR SOUL BUT TO YOUR’S AS WELL BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, TO GOD ABOVE ALL! “Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance (Luke15:7).”
MOTHER MARY, MOTHER OF JESUS, PRAY FOR US
SO THAT WE MAY PREPARE A PLACE IN OUR HEART FOR THE CHILD JESUS
BY GOING TO THE SACRAMENT OF CONFESSION THIS SEASON OF ADVENT IF I HAVEN’T DONE SO FOR QUITE SOME TIME.
-Fr. Rolly Arjonillo, priest of Opus Dei, CATHOLICS STRIVING FOR HOLINESS. We are also in Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CatholicsstrivingforHoliness. Hope you like our page and invite your friends as well to do so in order to help more people.
If you have friends who do not have a Facebook account but you think would benefit from our posts, they can receive our posts by email once they follow us and subscribe in www.catholicsstrivingforholiness.com
PHOTO SOURCE: houseideas.biz , dreamstime. &myhdwallpapers.net
SUGGESTED READING FOR MEDITATION:
God Never Tires of Forgiving: “It is not easy to entrust oneself to God’s mercy, because it is an abyss beyond our comprehension. But we must! ‘Oh, Father, if you knew my life, you would not say that to me!’ ‘Why, what have you done?’ ‘Oh, I am a great sinner!’ ‘All the better! Go to Jesus: he likes you to tell him these things!’ He forgets, he has a very special capacity for forgetting. He forgets, he kisses you, he embraces you and he simply says to you: ‘Neither do I condemn you; go, and sin no more’ (Jn 8:11). That is the only advice he gives you. After a month, if we are in the same situation … Let us go back to the Lord.
The Lord never tires of forgiving: never! It is we who tire of asking his forgiveness. Let us ask for the grace not to tire of asking forgiveness, because he never tires of forgiving. Let us ask for this grace.” (Pope Francis, Homily, Parish of St Anna in the Vatican, 17 March 2013).
CONFESSION MADE EASY CHARTS WITH EXAMINATION OF CONSCIENCE FOR ADULTS, TEENS AND CHILDREN CAN BE DOWNLOADED IN http://www.merrionroadchurch.ie/sacraments,6
DOWNLOADABLE APPS ON CONFESSION (courtesy of Fr. James Socias and the Midwest Theological Forum):
– A Short Guide for Confession APP for Android (FREE) in https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.stclementepress.confessionguide&hl=en
– A Short Guide for Confession for Iphone and Ipad (FREE) in https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/confessionguide/id708525655?mt=8