Discernment and Advent: what are you preparing for?

By Amy Taylor, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration on Thursday, November 29th 2018


First Sunday of the season shines light on spiritual preparation, reflects discernment

The ringing of the church bell this week not only calls us to Mass but proclaims the beginning of a new year with the First Sunday of Advent. We are roused from our routines of worship and greeted with plumes of incense as we bless the Advent wreath. We are invited to wipe sleep from our eyes to clear our vision and prepare our hearts and souls for the coming of Christ.


Image courtesy pixabay.com

One of the invitations of Advent is to allow the Word of God to soak into our hearts and create space for renewal and relationship. We are challenged to make time for a spiritual preparation of the coming of Jesus, not just the temporal requirements of the season. Many of us will be easily distracted with concerts, holiday parties, volunteering, meals to prepare and many other things that vie for our time. What could make this Advent different, in terms of immersing yourself in the spirit, than any others in the past? 

Set your smart phone alarm as digital encouragement to celebrate Advent with God by appointment. If you are still using a paper calendar, be radical and schedule time for prayer in purple-marker that can’t be erased. Something as simple as reading the Scriptures of the day or listening to them online is also a great way to welcome the Advent season this year. You can do so on the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops website where you will also find a reflection for each day (like Dec. 2).

As we consider the banquet set before us, it is the psalm that serves as a wonderful reminder of the season. How will we make the time to give our attention to prayer, not only during the season of Advent but throughout the whole year?

More questions for reflection:

How will you dedicate time to God this Advent season? 

How have your eyes been opened on this first week of Advent? 

How is this season of Advent mirroring your discernment journey? What are you preparing for … waiting for?


Are you discerning religious life? Walking with someone who is? Connect with membership@fspa.org to be added to our future premiere list. You’ll receive a sneak peek of our future Show me a sign video premieres.

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