Today is the first Sunday of Advent, which is also the first Sunday of a new liturgical year for the Church. It is a time of new beginnings as we turn our attention to the coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Any day, any moment could be the final coming of the Lord for you and for me. Advent is a time of preparation for this coming. As St. Paul tells us, it is time to awake from our sleep, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.
Advent is a time to reflect on what’s really important in our lives and to prepare ourselves to meet Jesus, to welcome him into our lives. We should ask ourselves, “If I changed some of my habits or activities would this give me a bit more time to grow closer to God? Am I too comfortable in my current routine? Am I stretching myself to move out of my comfort zone in order to better serve Him?
Sometimes we just have to make a small change in our routine in order to make a meaningful change in our relationship with God. Maybe consider giving up a half hour of television every evening so you can read and reflect on the day’s Mass readings and pray the rosary. Or maybe it’s getting out of bed a half hour earlier each morning. St. Francis de Sales once said, “Every one of us needs a half an hour of prayer every day, except when we are busy—then we need an hour,”
We all make excuses but surely we can make extra time to go to Mass or adoration on a day we normally cannot. We can use this time of preparation to build habits like this that will not only help us have a fruitful Advent, but also to continue with a fruitful life of prayer throughout the rest of our lives. That’s what habits are for, long lasting fruitfulness. This is my challenge to you: this Advent pray the rosary. Begin with only 5 decades a day, but by the end of the season, try to pray the entire rosary daily. I promise it will change your life.