One of my favorite Advent traditions is the Advent Calendar, which helps me keep tuned in to the spirit of the season, of awaiting and preparing for new life in Jesus the Christ. Though when younger I was more fond of the Advent calendars that had chocolate surprises each day, I am now into online interactive Advent calendars (plus they don’t have as many calories).
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has a cool, simple Advent calendar. On each day there are suggestions to read, pray, reflect, and act. These four steps make up a good formula for deepening our relationship with God and with the world around us. And not just during Advent — but at any time that you are struck by something or want to learn more about something, try using these four steps.
More on the Advent calendar from USCCB:
The Advent Calendar is believed to have been created in the early 19th century to mark the days of Advent leading up to Christmas. Advent calendars of today usually count down the 24 days of December ending on Christmas Eve. Popular amongst children Advent calendars are a joyful activity that helps children learn about preparing for Jesus’ birth. Some Advent calendars have doors to open that reveal some symbol of Advent or Christmas, while others have symbols that are individually placed on the calendar for each day. (source)
Have you found other good online sources for engaging in the Advent season? What other practices help you to read, pray, reflect, and/or act during this season?
Thank you for this link. One I like very much is Praying Advent from Creighton University. And also Busted Halo’s Surprise Advent Calendar.
Creighton University has a wonder trove of resources online: preparation before Advent, as well as prayers and reflections for everyday.
Loyola Press has a wonderful site for an interactive advent retreat.
I’m wondering if it being Advent season would explain why I’ve received no reply to any of the email inquiries I’ve made to almost a dozen cloistered/contemplative orders over past week or so… Happy Advent, everyone!
I know most of your readers would be from Stateside but if there are any from Down Under they might find Xt3, a Catholic online network, a helpful alternative to the one from the USCCB, as we operate on a slightly different calendar for memorias. I think our feasts and solemnities are most the same. … thanks for this post, anyway! Always good to start Advent tuned in to the anticipation that comes with the season.