Various Things Related to Advent

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Benjamin and I concocted this Advent wreath from the Christmas Tree trimmings left over at Home Depot. We successfully deposited pine needles all over the house as well. We’ve been trying to eat mostly soups and fish during this Advent season to remind ourselves that this is a penitential spirit of fasting in the season before Christmas.

I’ve been collecting some Advent resources over the past few months and I’ll post them as they come to mind. Here‘s one devotional that I try to read every morning:

Also, when I worked at the Center for Christian Ethics I did a great deal of the planning for their latest issue of Christian Reflection, their quarterly publication, entitled Advent Ethics that just came out in early November. I haven’t had a chance to enjoy the whole issue yet, but so far, I particularly love “The Three Advents” by Father James Conner, OCSO. The entire issue (minus the art due to permissions) is available on their web site.

I picked out this image for the cover and I’m so glad they used it:

It’s Georges de La Tour’s The Dream of St. Joseph depicting the angel coming in a dream to tell St. Joseph of the coming of the Christ Child. I love this image for Advent because of the general darkness of the painting in contrast with the strength of the candle’s light illuminating the face of the angel giving the blessed message. Yet, the flame of the candle is still almost entirely covered by the angel’s arm. Our Lord, the Light of the World has not yet arrived, but his coming begins to shed light on our dark night of the soul as we prepare our hearts. May the news of Christ’s coming reach us as we are faithfully following his way, as St. Joseph pictured here–vigilantly reading the Holy Scriptures until the blessed dream overcame him.

Here’s our sweet boy standing proudly behind our beautiful Nativity Scene that my sweet mother-in-law gave us last year for Christmas. He has been loving it so much and will grab my hand excitedly, pointing to the figures and exclaim, “I want to tell you who those people are!” Then he will hand me each one in turn, “cow!” “manger!” “Mary!”

This is Little Bear “hugging” the nativity scene.

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