“Christian spirituality proposes a growth marked by moderation and the capacity to be happy with little. It is a return to that simplicity which allows us to stop and appreciate the small things, to be grateful for the opportunities which life affords us, to be spiritually detached from what we possess, and not to succumb to sadness for what we lack.“ (Pope Francis, Laudato Si 222)
Advent began on Sunday, November 27.
For many of us, these weeks can be a time of great stress and activity, as we look at our long shopping lists, decorate our homes, and plan holiday meals. As our calendar get filled with events, it can be easy to lose sight of the true reason for the season.
Advent is a time of preparation. A time for creating space in our hearts and in our lives to prepare for the Christ Jesus. This is not just the Jesus who was born over 2,000 years ago in a simple manger in Bethlehem. This is also the Jesus who is waiting to be born in our world right now through hearts of peace, hands of compassion, and acts of justice.
It can be easy to crowd out the space for Jesus through busyness and buying. And yet, when we do that, as Pope Francis reminds us in Laudato Si, the impacts are dire:
“The pace of consumption, waste and environmental change has so stretched the planet’s capacity that our contemporary lifestyle, unsustainable as it is, can only precipitate catastrophes, such as those which even now periodically occur in different areas of the world…We need to reflect on our accountability before those who will have to endure the dire consequences."(LS, 161)
This Advent, we invite you to make a commitment to Laudato Si-fy your Advent by looking at ways to reduce your consumption.
Some possibilities might be to give meaningful gifts, such as giving the gift of time or to charities (like GCCM!), praying with special Advent reflections, or creating a “reverse Advent calendar.” We have plenty of more ideas on our Advent website and invite you to share with us what you plan to do this Advent on our Facebook page.
See ways to LaudatoSi-fy your Advent
We wish you and your loved ones a blessed Advent as you prepare for the One who brings eternal hope,
Christina and the GCCM team
P.S. Keep your eyes out for an upcoming webinar during Advent with experts to help us explore consumerism more deeply and ways that we might address it.