It has long struck me that the season of Advent doesn’t always get our full attention. But that’s no anyone’s fault. Here in the Mid-Atlantic States, the leaves are just falling and the weather is still fairly balmy. Even though the clocks have gone back, we haven’t yet reached the days when it’s pitch dark at 5:00 p.m. So it’s hard to get into the Advent mood and ponder phrases like “In the bleak midwinter” and “Silent Night.” (In Manhattan, where I live, there’s no such thing as a silent night any time of year.)
Then there is the fact that we Americans have to jump the hurdle that is the national Thanksgiving Day, followed by Black Friday and the shopping season. For catechists and parish directors or coordinators of religious education, Advent also means preparing not only their own families, but yours and mine as well, for Christmas. And then there’s the Christmas pageant with all the drama onstage and back stage.
I for one will never be co that Catholics and other Christians don’t want to prepare spiritually for the celebration of the Nativity of Our Savior. It’s just that life is always hectic and time slips away.
So here is my contribution toward making Advent a little easier to keep for over-worked, over-wrought, over-pressured believers. These resources are all online. Some are multi-lingual, others multi-generational. Try them and let me know what you think of them.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Here is an online Advent calendar plus prayer and information about the season, the meaning of its name, and more.
Creighton University Online Ministries. Among the many resources are online retreats in several languages.
ETWN’s Holy Season of Advent. Another informative Advent Calendar
Loyola Press’ Interactive Advent Retreats. Actually, this site is great all year around.
Catholic.net Family Advent. Here you will find family resources plus a rather intriguing feature titled “Got a Faith Question? Ask St. Peter.” I didn’t know he had an e-mail account. See? You learn something new every day.
Sacred Space. Daily prayer in 21 languages. Another year ’round treasure.
Have you some favorite online resources for the season? Do send them to me.