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  • Writer's pictureR.C. VanLandingham

As Advent Ends, Find Beauty and Joy in Confession and Reconciliation

Advent is upon us once again. It is my most favorite season as the build-up to Christmas is always so beautiful and joyful. The songs, the decorations, the food, and the general joy that is manifest during Advent truly makes this season, as the song says, "the most wonderful time of the year."

As a Catholic convert, Advent is an even more beautiful season than it was before my conversion. The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains the joy and beauty of the season quite well: "When the Church celebrates the liturgy of Advent each year, she makes present this ancient expectancy of the Messiah, for by sharing in the long preparation for the savior's first coming, the faithful renew their ardent desire for his second coming. By celebrating the precursor's [St. John the Baptist] birth and martyrdom, the Church unites herself to his desire: 'He must increase, but I must decrease.'"

Advent then, is so much more than awaiting the coming of our Lord. It is an opportunity for us to decrease in our own lives, to allow Christ to increase there. Decreasing in our lives requires a detachment from our worldly pursuits, most especially those that are evil in the eyes of God. It requires focusing on our Lord, and desiring him more than anything this world--with all of its glittering lights, ringing bells, delicious foods, and bright paper packages--could offer us.

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