4. Preparing By Dying To One's Self
The four weeks of Advent are set apart by the Church to commemorate the ages that intervened between the fall of our first of our first parents and the birth of Christ which we celebrate at Christmas.
It is a Season of special prayer and penance mingled with joyful expectation, and calculated to prepare our souls for a worthy keeping of this great solemnity.
Advent is also the beginning of the ecclesiastical year, and as each succeeding year brings us closer to the Second Coming of Christ as Judge of the world, this holy time is likewise intended to make us ready to meet our Judge.
Such preparation is best achieved by seeking sanctification through voluntary amendment of life, acts of penance, and works of charity.
Do not let this time to grow in holiness pass you by!
Consider the following categories on what we should do for Advent this year.
Voluntary Amendment Of Life:
Give up those things that need to go sooner or later, namely bad habits.Our goal here is to learn to love
our souls more than our bodies...to break a bad habit forever and
Advent is a good time to do it.
Examples: Gossiping, surfing the web
without real need, watching T.V., overeating, eating between meals,
eating and drinking junk foods (e.g., soda), bad drinking habits,
complaining, saying vulgar words, not getting up on time, using a snooze
alarm, wasting time playing video games, going to movies, listening to
base music, useless chattering on facebook, blogs, and the like, etc.
In this category I am going to give up_________________.
Acts Of Penance:
Perform some kind of penance. Our goal here is to train
ourselves to say “no” in little things so that we can say “NO” to big
temptations later. We can resume doing the things given up here once
Advent is over.
Examples: Avoid eating or drinking something that we
enjoy, such as desserts. Give up eating out, taking completely warm
showers, drinking alcoholic beverages.
In this category I am
going to give up________________________.
Works Of Charity:
good and holy actions. Our goal here is to strengthen our
relationship with Christ and His Church. Ideally, what we start here
would continue in some way even after Advent is over. Love God more than
Examples: Pray the Rosary everyday, attend daily Mass as much
as possible, read the Sacred Scriptures _____ minutes a day, spend
________ additional time everyday with my family, read a life of a saint
or saints, increase spiritual reading in place of electronic media,
make a daily visit to the Most Blessed Sacrament or shrine of Our Lady.
In this category I am going to_________________________.
This checklist is found on ReginaProphetarum.com in the mission materials section of their website and is reprinted here with permission from the author.