ON ADVENT 2:
INTERIOR PREPARATION FOR CHRISTMAS
In a talk I gave two years ago 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 alright 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 and still, not the most important…
Let us convince ourselves of the utmost importance of our interior preparation to celebrate the 1st Coming of Our Lord: preparing our heart so that Jesus would 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 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 for
it is only when our soul is in the state of grace shall Jesus have “a place in our inn
(Matthew 2:7)” and shall we will recover the profound happiness of being once more friends of God. Besides, it is the BEST GIFT we could give to Baby Jesus and to ourself as well!
Let us also amiably invite and encourage our relatives and friends to do the same during this season of Advent, always respecting their freedom. With this, will bring joy not only to their soul but most importantly and above all, to God. “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).”
Help of Christians,
Refuge of Sinners;
St. Joseph, Teacher of Interior Life,
pray for us so we and a lot of people may prepare in our heart a place for the Child Jesus
by frequenting the Sacrament of Confession,
of Divine Love, Mercy, and Joy,
and so welcome your Son in our life.
-Fr. Rolly Arjonillo, priest of Opus Dei, CATHOLICS STRIVING FOR HOLINESS, with the help of God’s grace. Please do us the kind favor of liking our page so we could reach and help more people. Thanks and God bless!
AUDIO CREDIT AND SOURCE: Angels We Have Heard on High Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
ORIGINAL PHOTO SOURCES: houseideas.biz , dreamstime. &myhdwallpapers.net
Nativity scene: https://navidaddigital.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/belenes-gal-3.jpg
Jesus hugging a girl: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/6e/b6/84/6eb684955badbce28320d19821f28531.jpg
St. John Paul II: http://www.integratedcatholiclife.org/wp-content/uploads/pope-st-john-paul-ii-at-wyd-featured-w740x493.jpg ; Kissing a baby: https://www.osv.com/Portals/4/Images/OSV/General/JPII/pjp2_baby.jpg
Pope Francis confessing: http://www.catholicsun.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/20150316cnsto0002.jpg
Holy Family with St. John the Baptist (Murillo) in https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/96/7d/05/967d0502c3ffe82fb8c70c5cbafc2175.jpg
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