Advent can be a transformational time as we wait for the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Begin this special season with an intention. This Advent I will ________________________.
This has been a difficult year, but as Christians we try to remain hopeful as we joyfully await the birth of Christ. If you haven’t already, read the Sunday scriptural reflection on the Advent homepage and spend 10 minutes in silence, letting the Lord speak to you.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
We too often worry about things out of our control and fear events that never happen. Today, reflect on a time God surprised you with kindness and helped you feel hopeful about the future.
We all need a community to live the Laudato Si’ message. Laudato Si’ Circles are small groups that meet regularly to deepen their relationship with God as Creator and all members of creation. Click here to learn more about joining or forming a Laudato Si’ Circle
. If there isn't a Circle in your area, consider connecting with family members or friends.
Too much of everything ends in the trash. With your friends or family, play Secret Santa and give hand-made gifts with recycled materials. Plan a socially-distant meetup to exchange gifts, if the pandemic requires such actions.
“We must not lose our ability to listen . . . Saint Francis ‘heard the voice of God, he heard the voice of the poor, he heard the voice of the infirm and he heard the voice of nature.” (Fratelli Tutti 48)
How do we listen to creation? Spend five minutes outdoors, reflecting on creating #AdventHope.
As St. Francis of Assisi did, listen to the voice of the poor, the voice of the most vulnerable among us. Spend some time reading news stories about how the poorest sisters and brothers in your area could use our help this Advent.
Visit the Advent homepage
and read the new scriptural reflection. What comes to mind as you reflect on its message? How is God speaking to you through the reading and this Advent?
Embody a Laudato Si’ Christmas: Spend time sharing moments instead of materials, or give experiences rather than objects. What is one way you and your loved ones can embody Pope Francis’ message of hope this Christmas? Let us know by tagging Global Catholic Climate Movement on social media and with #AdventHope.
December 8 Feast of the Immaculate Conception
Pope Francis warns against consumerism in Laudato Si’. His Holiness proposes solutions to overcoming the “indifference induced by consumerism.” This Advent, show concern for a public place, such as a fountain or a landscape, and strive to protect, restore, improve, or beautify it as something belonging to everyone.
“Hope would have us recognize that there is always a way out, that we can always redirect our steps, that we can always do something to solve our problems.” (Laudato Si’ 61)
The “Creator does not abandon us; he never forsakes his loving plan or repents of having created us.” (LS 13) Let go and let God handle a nagging worry that has recently bothered you.
Most of us can live more simply than we do. Today, try fasting in between meals. No snacks, just meals. Rely on God’s strength to help you throughout the day. Jot down how you feel explicitly relying on God’s strength.
Hear the voice of the poor: If you’re able, donate to a charity in need in your area, or, if you’re able and it’s possible, make plans to volunteer at a similarly-minded organization in January 2021.
December 12 Our Lady of Guadalupe
“All it takes is one good person to restore hope!” (LS 71)
Create hope: Call someone who lives alone or can't be in touch with family because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Visit the Advent homepage
and read the new scriptural reflection. Send it to at least one other friend whom you think could benefit from it.
“We need to be silent, we need to listen, and we need to contemplate.”
Pope Francis shared those remarks during the Season of Creation, but it’s always helpful for our spirits to contemplate creation’s beauty. Today, spend 10 minutes contemplating creation.
“Hope speaks to us of a thirst, an aspiration, a longing for a life of fulfillment, a desire to achieve great things, things that fill our heart and lift our spirit to lofty realities like truth, goodness and beauty, justice and love.” (FT 55)
What fills your heart and lifts your spirit?
“‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’” (Matthew 25:40)
As you did it to one of the least of my sisters and brothers, you did it to me. Stop and think about those words. Whatever we do to the least of those among us, we do to Jesus. What does that mean to you, and how do you feel reading it?
On United Nations International Migrants Day 2020, pray for our most vulnerable sisters and brothers by reading the Prayers of the Faithful here
“The hand that blesses is an instrument of God’s love and a reflection of the closeness of Jesus Christ, who came to accompany us on the journey of life.” (LS 235)
Act like Jesus and accompany someone else on the journey of life by sending a text or an email about #AdventHope.
Visit the Advent homepage
and read the new scriptural reflection. Spend 10 minutes meditating in silence on what it means to you.
“But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” (Matthew 6:6)
Pray for healthcare workers around the world. Pray for organizations and people who help the poor as so many more people have struggled with poverty during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Let us sing as we go. May our struggles and our concern for this planet never take away the joy of our hope.” (LS 244)
What’s helped you create #AdventHope the most this season? Let us know by tagging us on social media with your reply and #AdventHope.
Last-minute shopping can wait: use the time you might have spent buying things to deeply reflect on the changes you’ve seen in yourself this Advent, and how you can build on what the Lord has helped transpire through you.
“If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
Give yourself grace. Sure, you might have fallen short a time or two. But we do that; we’re human. God forgives us and smiles at our attempts to be more like the person He wants us to become. Today, consciously spend time forgiving yourself and giving yourself grace.
“And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)
Jesus is born. Celebrate Christmas! Merry Christmas!