This Advent, enrich your daily prayer by walking with Dr. Tim Gray on a journey of renewal. Ready your heart for the coming of Christ.
Watch, Read, and Reflect each day
Watch an inspiring video reflection from Dr. Tim Gray
Read a passage from the Word of God
Reflect on how you can prepare for Christ's coming
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LOOKING for FAMILY IDEAS??
Here are some Advent traditions to start with your family:
Reverse Advent Calendar
Advent calendars, especially ones with religious themes, are a great way to introduce children to the concept of waiting. Some can be refilled from year to year, some are designed to be opened just for one Advent season, and others incorporate Scripture to reflect upon a particular part of the Christian story. Choose one that will help you to speak to your children about Advent and one that can become a part of your family traditions.
Advent angelscan be another simple tradition to encourage children to pray for one another. Each person in your house secretly chooses the name of someone within the family (or outside of the family) to pray for. You can also incorporate random acts of kindness into this activity. Family members only reveal their identity to each other on Christmas morning. Some families incorporate a guessing game in which family members are given clues and they try to guess which person is their Advent angel. If you have small children in your family, consider purchasing or making a small doll (an Advent angel) for your children. It is the job of the Advent angel to guide the child towards Christmas. Each night a Scripture passage is read and the family gathers to talk about what their Advent angel has shown them that day about Christ.
A conversation jarwith several questions can also be a great way for family members to talk about Advent, especially if there are middle- or high-school children in the family. Ideas for questions include:
Where did I see God today in my family, at school, in the community?
What did I do today to be Christ to someone?
Was there anything that happened to me that I would like to talk about?
How can I make tomorrow better than today?
What am I most thankful for in this present moment?
Scripture quotes can be added as appropriate with some simple sharing around the table.
Reverse Advent Calendarthis idea has been floating around social media sites for the past couple of years, its general idea is to add something or thingS to a basket/box each day of advent and then donating the box of goodies to a local charity. So you could put food items and donate to the food pantry or toiletry items and donate it to the homeless shelter or toys and donate it to agency collecting toys or clothes .. the list can go on and on. But the idea is to think about your surplus and blessings and to be thankful and bless others as well.
Advent Puzzle, start a puzzle at the beginning of Advent with the goal to have it completed by Christmas. This is a fun tradition that can lend itself for silent reflection, simple conversation, a break from a stressful day or homework and is just a simple addition to the season. The last piece placed in the puzzle then can be dated and signed by the placer.
Regardless of what tradition your family engages in, it is important to set aside regular time during the Advent season as a family to talk about Advent.
Our digital twist on the traditional Advent calendar brings a sense of surprise by showing you the whole calendar, but not letting you “open” each day and find out what’s behind the picture until that day comes along. Each day, the link will lead you to a special Advent-themed Daily Jolt and MicroChallenge.
Don’t miss the opportunity to make this your best Advent (and Christmas) ever. Sign up today! It’s simple, and the only cost is your commitment to live better each day during Advent. Are you ready?
We prepare for everything we consider important in life, and that includes Christmas. We shop for gifts, bake cookies, decorate our trees, and visit family and friends until we’re ready to drop. Best Advent Ever is a free email program that will help you prepare for Christmas in a different way. Beginning the first Sunday of Advent (December 1st) and continuing every day until December 26, you’ll receive short inspirational videos, practical tips, or free Christmas music that will help you slow down during the busy Christmas season to focus on what’s really important in life.
Apps and Other Websites (click on the links at the end of the descriptions)In recent years a wide variety of digital Advent tools have been released online:
Xt3 Advent Calendar app: Xt3, a Catholic media ministry in Australia, releases an annual digital Advent calendar (both on their website and as an app) to help Catholics count down the days to the Nativity. Find it at Xt3.com/Advent/
Confession: Many parishes hold special penance services during Advent. This app walks penitents through an examination of conscience and the prayers of the sacrament of Penance, making it ideal for those who have not frequented the sacrament in a long time. Check out LittleIApps.com/confession
Arts & Faith: Loyola Press’ Arts & Faith series features short video reflections on works of art appropriate to the liturgical season. They are perfect for use in catechetical classes or sharing on parish social media sites. Try CATmag.us/2eHuS6r
USCCB Advent resources: The USCCB’s resources include family blessings for Advent wreaths and Christmas trees, lectio divina handouts, and a family Advent calendar with suggested daily activities. Go to CATmag.us/2glMzJ9
Advent Conspiracy: This ecumenical website encourages churches and parishioners to resist the consumer Christmas mentality and focus on worship, giving, and loving others. See AdventConspiracy.org
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