There’s much to look forward to in the coming months: the end of school, winter break, family, Christmas, and New Year’s. In all the busyness, the important season of Advent is often lost. Advent heralds more than the coming of the Christ child; it also signals the beginning of a new Liturgical year. This new year holds more spiritual significance than the calendar change on January 1st.
Because Advent is meant to be a “little Lent,” a time of penance to help prepare one’s heart and soul for Christ’s birth. It’s easy to see how these spiritual preparations are more important than wrapping gifts or making cookies, but it’s also really easy to forget about them!
What can we do to recover a sense of Advent? Make some Liturgical New Year’s resolutions! You can make them for Advent only, or pick a few things to do throughout the year. Here’s 10 ideas to get you started!
Advent Resolution Ideas
1. Be more liturgically conscious. Advent is a great time to start doing living the rhythms of the liturgical calendar (celebrating feast days, integrating your daily life with the Church’s calendar)! There’s a plethora of books, blogs, and podcasts to help give you inspiration. Check out this guide to liturgical days, weeks, and months, and here’s a great Catholic Feminist episode on liturgical living in real life.
2. Listen to sacred music. Be bold and wait to listen to Christmas music. Listen to chant (or advent music) instead! Here’s a beautiful Advent album to start with.
3. Start doing daily prayer or add an extra daily prayer or devotion. Usually people approach the penitential seasons thinking about what they can give up, but it’s just as important to add things to your spiritual life! If daily prayer isn’t a part of your routine right now, start building your prayer life. “Prayer Primer” is a great book to start with for guidance, or simply try doing 5-10 minutes of lectio divina at first.
4. Devote 15 minutes daily to reading Scripture. Start with your favorite book (or the book that contains your favorite verse) and whittle away at it all year! Don’t have a bible, or need a reading list? Bible Gateway has reading plans with your favorite translation (common Catholic translations are the New American Bible or the Revised Standard Version – Catholic), and a convenient app that reminds you to do your daily reading!
5. Make a spiritual #TBR book pile! Always having a spiritual book to read is a great way to keep your spiritual life on track. Ask Fr. Daniel for some recommendations next time you’re at the Center!
6. Pray before the Blessed Sacrament every week. Double points for attending adoration, but if you find you can’t make it (see our schedule), just stop by the chapel for 15 minutes!
7. Buy gifts for an Angel Tree. Parishes often set up Angel Trees in their vestibules. They’re usually covered in paper angels with the names and interests of children from low-income families, and the hope is that parishioners will pick a few names and buy gifts for these children. It’s a great way to see your “alms in action”! There’s an Angel Tree in the narthex of St. Peter until December 12th, 2018.
8. Join a weekly discussion group. You’ve got plenty of options at St. Peter’s- there’s usually a talk and a discussion after Laudate, and a new book club just started discussing Morning Star: Conferences on the Virgin Mary by Fr.Marie-Dominique Philippe, O.P.
9. Attend weekday Mass every week. There are many opportunities to do so at St. Peter. Check out our schedule to see what will work with your class schedule!
10. Try mortifications at meals. Mortifications are sacrifices we make, but the don’t have to be big. If you’re a fast eater, try eater slower. Maybe don’t add sugar to your coffee or tea. As hard as fasting and not eating between meals can be, sometimes giving up salt on your chicken or sugar in your coffee can be harder!
What are you doing for Advent?
We’re praying you have a blessed and fruitful Advent season. Tag us on social media (@baylor_catholic on Twitter and Insta, St. Peter Catholic Student Center on Facebook) or comment to share your resolutions!
P.S. The beloved Christmas Novena starts on November 30th!