Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Pope Benedict's Advent Novena

I bought this booklet earlier this year from Ave Maria Press: they must have run out of them because it is no longer available on their website. I'm sure there are copies somewhere. I plan to start reading and praying these meditations Friday evening, December 16. The meditations seem perfect for evening prayer because they contain Mary's Magnificat and the O Antiphons.

Combining the format of a novena--nine days of prayer, like the Apostles and the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Upper Room between the Ascension and Pentecost--and the O Antiphons should intensify spiritual preparation for Christmas. Because there are nine days/evenings in the novena and seven Golden evenings of the O Antiphons, there's a glorious overlap between these ancient Christian ways of telling time and telling us that it is time.

There is so much to do in the last week or so before Christmas on the practical level: mail the last Christmas cards; wrap the last presents; making the grocery list for Christmas eve or day dinner; decide which Mass to attend, etc, etc.

Pausing at evening, when we usually think of what we didn't get done today and must do tomorrow, is a good time to think of what we should really think of: Jesus is coming and He is here!

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