Happy Monday, everyone! Today is the glorious feast of St. Andrew, the 141st birthday of Lucy Maud Montgomery (the Google browser today has a wonderful animated Anne of Green Gables!), and the Monday of the first week of Advent. Whew! That's a lot of awesomeness for today! I want to drop a quick note here to talk about Advent. I love Advent, and there have been different awesome Advent traditions that my husband and I have picked up over the past couple years. But you know what? Right now, our apartment does not look like Advent, and I am okay with that.
As I mentioned yesterday, we were hit with a massive ice storm and power outage this weekend, so I did not get much done at all other than sleeping, reading, eating, and hiding under warm covers. I know that our Jesse tree ornaments are hidden somewhere, but after we finally got power back, I did not feel like looking around for them. We left our Advent wreath and candles in Ohio when we moved (along with our Christmas tree), and we have not bought new candles. In the beginning of Advent, we have, in the past, set up our Nativity scene with Mary and Joseph far away from it, moving closer as Advent goes past. And, you guessed it, I did not get around to clearing off a table to set it up. Yet, like I said, I am totally fine with the lack of Advent decor at this moment. Advent is four weeks long, so at some point (possibly this week), I'll clear a table for our Nativity. Eventually, I may find our Jesse Tree ornaments, and I'm hoping to buy Advent candles soon.
Until then, it doesn't really look like Advent much around here, but I'm throwing myself into preparations nonetheless. Not focusing on the physical preparations yet has helped me to remember the importance of cultivating a spirit of peace, prayer, and silence. I'm currently listening to the "Advent at Ephesus" album (it's on Spotify!), tying up loose ends around the apartment, and working on my Liturgical New Year Resolution. I've decided that I need more silent prayer in my life, other than the time before or after daily Mass (and, to be honest, I unfortunately haven't made it to daily Mass that much lately, because...sleep...).
So, for this Advent (and hopefully for this Liturgical Year), I will be spending 10 minutes in silent prayer each day. I'm using A Monastery Journey to Christmas to help me bounce off in prayer, which is quite wonderful. This book was written by a monk who is Eastern Catholic, and he weaves together traditions from the East and West in short meditations for the days leading up to Christmas, as well as for the days after Christmas. It's funny that every single year, I forget that the meditations start on November 15. Oops! Maybe I'll remember some year down the road.
On that note, I should probably get back to my Monday catch-up routine! If you're interested in seeing more on Advent, I'm over at Ignitum Today, talking about the need to Keep Christ in Advent. A bit unrelated to Advent, but connected with stewardship commitments for the Liturgical New Year, I'm also over at Catholic365.com, discussing how we can Pray for the Courage to Accept the Call to Stewardship!
I hope that you all have an incredibly blessed day!