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The Most Important Method of Reclaiming Advent

Fr. Robert Spitzer, S.J., Ph.D.

We deal with a world where Advent kind of got lost.

Christmas starts sometimes in September, if you go by the stores or certainly after Halloween. I mean, Thanksgiving got blown away because, commercially, you can’t sell a lot of stuff.

We’re in a world where people start playing Christmas music before Thanksgiving, so by the time we get to when Christmas actually begins, let’s say Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, people are kind of tired of Christmas, and we lose Advent.

How do we recapture that?

It’s really difficult to recapture it, because right now in our culture, the commercialization has made the commercial Christmas be brought to the forefront.

You can’t turn on your radio, you can’t turn on your television, you can’t go downtown without seeing the commercial Christmas. However, I do think that as Catholics, as people who are committed Christians or religious people, I think we can bring Jesus back.

It’s as they say, the reason for the season, right? I mean, we can intentionally bring back Jesus.

If you can make it to daily Mass, I’ll tell you the easy way to bring Advent back in, an Advent which anticipates a truly holy Christmas with Jesus at the center of it, just go to daily Mass and listen to those readings.

However, if that’s not possible with your work schedule or something, then I would go to The Magnificat.

The Magnificat, it’s a little book that puts together sort of like a mini breviary, which has the psalms, and they have the readings for the days that we’re going to have at the Mass, and they have some explanations of the readings that come from the Church fathers.

There’s all kinds of ways of doing those readings, even if you can’t get to daily mass.

Also, at the Magis Center, we do have your Ignatian reflections, and we send them out to you free of charge. Just go to the magisspirituality.org website, and just if you want the Ignatian reflections, just ask for them. Give us your email, and we’ll send them out.

I know EWTN sends out reflections as well for Advent and Christmas.

All these things are ways for committed Christians to keep Jesus back in full view, and to keep that Advent, that anticipatory spirit oh come, oh come, Emmanuel, in the picture.

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