Advent_2Advent begins this Sunday—the season of silence, waiting, and expectation. Our wired, 24/7 culture doesn’t look too favorably on the gifts of the Advent season. Instead, we often get fooled into looking for “gifts” of a different kind: the ones we need to buy and the ones we hope to receive on Christmas.

Celebrating Advent may just be one of the most counter-cultural actions a Christian can do at this time of year.  As usual, I’d like to offer a few resources to help you explore ways you might enter mindfully into the Advent season.

First off, for a quick review of exactly what Advent is all about, watch this short two-minute video. For a reflection on Preparing for Advent by getting in touch with oneself, click here. In many cultures, Christians mark the days of Advent with a special Advent Calendar. Our friends at Busted Halo offer a contemporary online Advent Surprise Calendar that you may find useful. One of my Advent practices is choosing something spiritual to read that helps me deepen my understanding of Christian life. This year I plan to read the new Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis which was just released this week. It’s called Evangelii Gaudium or The Joy of the Gospel.

“Advent is the time for rousing. We are shaken to the very depths, so that we may wake up to the truth of ourselves.”      -Fr. Alfred Delp, S.J. (1907-1945)