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Friday, December 1, 2017

Time for New (Liturgical) Year Resolutions

It's the last day of the liturgical year. Advent begins with the vigil tomorrow for the First Sunday of Advent and we trade the green of ordinary time for the purple of the penitential Advent season.

And what a great sermon we got at Mass this morning from Fr. Ley. He urged us to look back and thank God for the blessings of the old year, ask forgiveness for our failures and make a firm purpose of amendment, and make some resolutions for the new year. He gave a few examples: being on time for Mass (He always pauses when late comers walk in until they're seated.), examining our prayer life to make sure we are giving time to Our Blessed Lord, and he especially recommended beginning the new liturgical year with a clean slate by going to Confession. Sounds like a great suggestion to me. But we are out and about all weekend so Confession is on my schedule for the 9th. I think that's a good way to celebrate the feast of St. Juan Diego.

Although some of our modernist clergy will tell you Advent isn't a time of penance, I still follow the practice of my childhood. A good way to prepare for the feast is the fast. I haven't decided what to give up yet -- coffee? desserts? beer and wine, cream in my coffee? You can tell what a fasting wimp I am by that list! But I know God loves the little weaklings as well as the giants like St. Jean Vianney and St. Catherine of Sienna. So that's the sacrifice plan.

On the positive prayer side we'll be adding several Advent practices to our nightly rosary: praying the Litany of Humility every day and doing a Scripture reading relating to the day's Jesse ornament beginning with the story of creation. Since we have grandchildren this afternoon, I think we'll begin a day early and let them put the ornaments depicting creation on the tree and we'll read the creation story.

Finally, I want to add some acts of charity: the Christmas giving tree and local food closets are easy places to start. And I'm asking all the saints who served the poor to inspire me with ideas. I'm sure Mother Teresa and St. Vincent de Paul have no lack of suggestions for me.

So let's all say good-bye to the old liturgical and turn our faces to the new with enthusiasm and a deep desire to do God's will in all things through the intercession of the Blessed Mother, our guardian angels, and our patron saints.

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