As Catholics, we are approaching the Liturgical Season of Advent ... that is, the season where we prepare for the Birth of Jesus Christ at Christmas.
There is a Child coming home soon, so we must prepare. We must clean out the places the child will rest and eventually toddle around and get into mischief in.
For the first born, there are things like the room or space for the child, the crib, clothes, and perhaps some study with close friends who already have children to prepare.
The season of Advent truly follows a close parallel to the beginning of the human cycle of life for both the parents and the child.
For first time parents, the season of Advent takes on a whole new meaning when we take the time to meditate on the mysteries presented to us during the first part of the Advent season.
It becomes very easy to "connect the dots".
As Catholics, we should be very mindful of that parallel, as there are many distractions now coming out in our midst that try to get us to focus on the actual Birth and the "gift giving" aspects. Lost are the patient working at preparation and waiting for the child.
It becomes imperative that we make an act of the will to deny those distractions, and plead with the Holy Spirit to help us maintain a spirit of preparation. For example, it may mean tuning out some of the Christian radio or Internet streaming stations that are now starting to play Christmas Carols.
In discernment, the distractions must go. And, we must prepare an explanation for our children. Why are we not allowing Christmas related music and articles into the house until Christmas Day or just before that?
For parents who encouraged the second child and subsequent children to be involved in the pregnancy of their younger siblings, it will not be too hard for the children to make the connection.
Remember, December 26th will see all of those "distractions" disappear ... and so too the Christmas music, so the effort will then need to be in celebrating the Octave and further, the 12 Days of Christmas. It will be up to us to carry Him into the world after His birth, to share Him with the world.
Have a Happy and Holy Advent!
Pax vobis (Peace be with you),