Advent is a season for joyful preparation

By Sarah Adams
For The Catholic Messenger

My name is Sarah Adams; I am 20 years old and a junior at St. Ambrose University in Davenport where I am a double major in marketing and theology with a minor in applied ethics. I am from Daven­port.

Adams

As a young Catholic adult, I find that the most important aspects of living out my faith include creating time and space for prayer, surrounding myself with people that inspire my faith life and serving others through volunteering.

It is very easy to get sucked into the life that society encourages, but once you establish and stand firm in your own beliefs and values it is not too difficult to live out your faith. I have found that establishing times throughout my week that I am intentional about my prayer has helped fuel my faith life.

At St. Ambrose, I am very fortunate to have opportunities for prayer almost every day of the week. For example, I have the opportunity to go to daily Mass every weekday and participate in adoration, reconciliation and faith-sharing groups. Another factor that deepens my active faith life is surrounding myself with people who hold the same values and morals as I do. These people keep me accountable in my actions and help me to live out my values.

I also believe that one of the best ways to live out my faith in the time and space I live in today is through service to others, whether by simply being kind to a stranger, going to volunteer at my local food bank or going on a service trip.

Advent is a great time to remind ourselves of our priorities and re-situate our lives to reflect those priorities. In our society, the Christmas season takes over the season of Advent; it encourages an attitude of impatience and consumerism. Advent is not about rushing to Christmas, buying gifts, decorating or making gingerbread houses.

Our Christmas season should not end on the 26th of December, but should be just beginning. (The liturgical season begins Christmas Eve with the Vigil Masses and ends Jan. 13 with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.).

Advent is a season for joyful preparation; it is a time for hope and waiting. Our responsibilities during Advent are to prepare for the coming of Our Savior into the world and welcoming God into our lives each day through prayer.

There are many different ways in which we can better prepare ourselves for the coming of Christ into the world. This Advent season I am making an intentional effort to delve into the Scriptures and better understand the Gospel message. Recently, St. Ambrose campus ministry gave out free copies of the November issue of Give Us This Day, a Catholic prayer book that contains morning and night prayer along with the Mass readings for each day of the month.

This was a great way for students to get more involved in the Scripture and foster their own prayer lives. By reading Christ’s message, we are better able to prepare for his coming. Advent is also about spreading hope; we can do this by serving those who feel the most hopeless. Serving at a homeless shelter, working at a soup kitchen, and visiting the elderly or those in prison are all great ways to spread hope this Advent season. So, let us not skip over Advent and head straight into Christmas. Let us enjoy the hopeful expectance of the coming of Jesus Christ.


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