How blessed is our Mother Mary, to be chosen as the holy vessel to contain within her the Son of God! The thought of the divine descending to Earth in order to reside with humanity, through the Blessed Virgin, should evoke within us deep, awe-inspiring reverence.
We often hear that the season of Advent is one of penance. While this is certainly true, one should not think that Advent is merely a period of time which we should confess our wrong-doings. Additionally, Advent should be thought of as a special time for personal reflection and preparation for our coming King. This is a season which we as individuals and families, should reflect on the virtues of our faith and upon our personal practices as Christians. This is a time when each of us should be preparing our so-called spiritual manger – our very soul, for the blessed habitation of the Holy Infant.
How do we make that special effort in preparing our soul for the Christ Child? We could start by asking ourselves the following questions: Have we been living a virtuous life? Have we been charitable toward all whom we meet? Have we been leading an exemplary life? Does what we do and say before others in the world reflect the love of God? Have we misrepresented the Holy Faith in any way? Have we spread rumours about our neighbour? Has our attendance and participation at Mass been serious and as often as possible? Have we fed the poor and clothed the naked? Obviously these are not the only questions which we could ask ourselves.
In reflecting on our activities, thoughts and practices, we should focus on making clean those areas of our lives that may run contrary to the way of Christ. In doing so, let us resolve to recommit our way of life to the teachings of Jesus Christ and His Apostles. Let us renew our zeal to the timeless traditions and culture of the Holy Church, and let us increase our love for our neighbours.
Preparing our souls to serve as a divine habitation of the Lord requires patience and personal undertaking. To begin, if you have not already done so, take the Sacraments of Confession and Penance and the Eucharist more seriously. In doing so, you will be making a better accommodation so that Christ can dwell within you.
The Christ Child desires to be spiritually born within us. Let us prepare our souls so that He has the best accommodations. Let us cast out all that is disagreeable to the Way of Christ. If we wish to have Him dwell within us, we must give Him the chief seat of our heart and soul.
May we always echo the words of the psalmist David, when he said, “A clean heart create for me, God; renew within me a steadfast spirit.” (Psalm 51:12, NABRE)
God bless you,