I thought I would blog a little before I head up to the Church for Liturgy. This week on the Eastern Calendar, we begin the fast for St. Philip. This is Advent in the East. We prepare for the Birth of Christ with a fast period. As when we prepare for Easter, this is often called Christmas Lent. However, this fast is often not as severe as the Lent fast is.
So what is this fast all about? Why do we do this? We need to prepare for the Birth of Christ in the same way we would would prepare for anything. How much time do we spend getting ready for a date, or a vacation or some other thing that we might have to prepare for. Last weekend we had a visit from one of our bishops. We prepared for that visit for about 2 weeks. So why not spend some time in spiritual preparation for the coming of the King?
This is a difficult time of year for many people because of all of the celebrations that we will attend during this time of year. Stop and take a moment to prepare yourselves spiritually for the event.
Here are some suggestions:
Pray – Many of you pray I am sure, but set aside a specific time each day to pray for others less fortunate then yourself. There are many needs out there and we do not need to know all of them just pray for those in need.
Scripture reading – there are many sites on the web that list the readings for the week from Scripture. If you look at the website of my parish www.stmichaelorth.org there is a link to the weekly bulletin. Listed in the bulletin each week are the readings for the coming week. I will try and put more resources up this week on the website. Spend a 1/2 hour or maybe even 15 minutes each day with the Word of God.
Alms for the Poor – What a radical concept this is for many of us. There are a variety of ways that you can give to the poor. The Marine Corps League has the Toys for Tots campaign in many communities. Give a toy, or perhaps give some money to the local food bank, or maybe donate some food. Do something that you would not usually do.
Do all things quietly – Don’t make a lot of noise about what you are doing. Just do it and know that you did it and that’s all that is necessary. No need to let other know what you are doing, that’s not while we are doing these things.
Just some random thoughts to prepare for the Great Feast.