40 Things to do in preparation for the Birth of Christ


“Advent is here. What a marvellous time in which to renew your  desire, your nostalgia, your real longing for Christ to come — for him to come every day to your soul in the Eucharist. The Church encourages us: Ecce veniet! — He is about to arrive!” – St. Josemaria Escriva

Here are 40 ways to prepare your heart for the Birth of Christ! *note* I am NOT doing all of these. I am doing some. These are just ideas I had and decided to share.

none of the pictures are mine.

  1. Spend 10 minutes in prayer daily – or if you already do this… why not 15 or 20?
  2. Go to daily mass!
  3. Go to adoration… “Oh Come Let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!”
  4. Go to confession.
  5. Pray a Scriptural Rosary (these are my favorite!)
  6. Do a daily meditation … I’m doing a few that are available on the Apple app store! Magnificat is $0.99, but Advent Daily Devotions is F R E E ! I’m also using the Word Among Us.
  7. Don’t listen to Christmas music until the fourth Sunday of Advent… Christmas is about waiting, right?
  8. If you can’t do that… what about not watching any Christmas movies until after the fourth Sunday?
  9. Celebrate Advent as it’s own season!
  10. Volunteer your time and talents.
  11. ImageRead a devotional book. Right now I’m reading “My Vocation is Love” by Jean Lafrance and it’s beautiful!
  12. Write a letter to God. Write it like you’re writing to a friend, with tough honesty.
  13. Forgive someone who you haven’t forgiven yet.
  14. Think about how beautiful it is that Jesus was born. Like us, He depended on His mother, He cried, He couldn’t do anything for Himself. GOD loves us SO much that He became an infant! How crazy is that?
  15. Fast
  16. Say thank you… even for the littlest things. Thank God for the sun, for your pillow, for your family (even if you got sick of them last Thursday). Thank your friend for texting you about dinner, for sharing something with you, for being a friend.
  17. Be there for someone.
  18. Read a book about Advent… The Catholic Company has a bunch (I’m looking at the one based on St. Therese’s Little Way)!
  19. Put up a Jesse Tree!Image
  20. Do Lectio Divina
  21. Do a daily examen
  22. Go through all of your stuff and donate it.
  23. Make a spiritual bouquet for someone who needs it.
  24. Read Luke 1:1-2:21
  25. Read Matthew 1:18-2:18
  26. Read a bit of Luke 1:1-2:21 and/or Matthew 1:18-2:18 a day throughout Advent.
  27. Read Advent and Christmas with Fulton J. Sheen . . . Leah Darrow posted on Facebook that she does this every year for Advent!
  28. Pray a novena… EWTN has a bunch that you can look through! There’s also the St. Andrew Advent Christmas novena and this Christmas novena
  29. Find a giving tree and buy some toys for less fortunate kids.
  30. Send a Christmas card to a soldier overseas
  31. Go Christmas caroling at a convalescent home.
  32. Send a Christmas card to someone that you normally wouldn’t/haven’t sent a card to in a while
  33. Donate to a crisis pregnancy center.
  34. Go beyond what is expected of you.
  35. Write thank you notes to your teachers, mail carriers, lunch ladies, etc.
  36. Bake cookies and deliver them to a neighbor you’re not very close with.
  37. Call someone who you haven’t talked to in a while.
  38. Pray for someone.
  39. Tell them that you prayed for them.
  40. Give something up that you taken granted. Even if only for a day.

I hope that you have a fruitful Advent season and a blessed Christmas!

World Day of Fasting and Prayer for Syria


How do you say ‘no’ to that face?

Today, Pope Francis asked the Catholics of the world to spend the day fasting and praying for peace in Syria.

I was proud to participate, and was glad that my school (on which the National Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes is on the campus of) was hosting events.

First, they had mass and adoration at the seminary. I decided not to attend mass, but did adore Christ with a chapel full of fellow students, seminarians, priests, and faculty.

After that, we processed up the mountain to the grotto, where, in front of the Eucharist, we prayed the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, begging Jesus to have mercy on us, and the whole world.

Then we went to the grotto altar, where we prayed the Rosary and finished with Mass. It was beautiful to see how many were aware of what is going on in current events and how many care about and love our brothers and sisters in Syria.

Still, there weren’t many students there, which was a bit disheartening. But nonetheless, a lovely experience

When I was in adoration  last night, I was praying for certain things I wanted. A few weeks ago, God revealed to me that it was not time for me to really seriously discern my vocation, because He wanted me to focus on my life in the present, and aim for heaven in my every day actions in the now.

This bothered me, because I want to know my calling right. now. I told God this, and He told me that He’d let me know when it was time.

So, I’ve been praying that He would help me focus on what I am called to do now. Last night, this prayer was in my head.

I don’t know my path, but You do. You’re walking it with me, holding my hand, guiding me.

You are behind me, reminding me not to look back.

You are at the end of the path, reminding me to aim for greatness.

The path becomes crooked and goes uphill sometimes, support me and encourage me.

The path will hit a fork in the road. Don’t let go of my hand, lead me down the one that reaches heaven.

People will join me on my journey, people meant to be there. They may help me to my final destination, or they may hurt me, and try to convince me to take another path. No matter what, they are meant to journey with me.

Our paths may cross for a short while, or a long time. I may not like having them there, or may cry as we go our separate ways.

If all of my companions leave and I feel despair and unable to see in the dark, shine Your light, so that I may be able to see that you are still behind, ahead and next to me.

Set the pace. Don’t let me walk any slower or faster than I am supposed to, for I may get hurt.

If I feel the weight of my cross on my back, encourage me, because in suffering we find grace. You are on the cross.

The most intense adoration

Yesterday, I went to a diocesean youth rally with my youth group from high school. I was excited to go, but I wasn’t expecting any big revelations or anything: my faith life is fine. Or so I thought.

It started when I went to confession. After I confessed my sins, the priest told me that he knew that I was going to be holy, and that God was proud of me and my efforts to be holy. I was surprised. Usually, priests will tell me what to do differently, and what I’ve been doing wrong. I’ve never been told I was doing right. He also told me I had a roadblock in my heart that was keeping me from holiness.

I thought I knew what that was, but during adoration, something hit me. Something that I had hidden deep in my heart. Feelings of fear, rejection, anger, and much more. It was a walking adoration, and as the priest reached my aisle with the monstrance, I began to sob. The priest came to me, and I looked up, and all I could ask was ‘why?’ as I stared at Jesus. The priest put Jesus closer to my face. A song about trusting in Jesus was on, and I realized that I didn’t trust Jesus. “I don’t know what You want from me. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. Who am I? What do you want from me?” And loud and clear, Jesus answered me, “You are mine, and I want you to trust in me. I have a plan, and you’ll know in good time. You just need to trust.”

I never realized that I have a difficult time trusting Jesus, but since then, it seems so obvious. I trust my dreams and plans more than I trust His.

As I begin to put total trust in Christ, I know that my life will change for the better. My heart will soften, my eyes will open. I’ll keep you updated.