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Advent: a Life-Enhancing Preparation

Advent: a Life-Enhancing Preparation

By: Fr. Chris Saliga, O.P.

This time of year, folks often bypass Advent moving forward from Thanksgiving to Christmas in a flurry of activity.  At Dartmouth, we are blessed by a break between the autumn and winter terms that frees us for the whole of Advent.

Advent is one two-part call summed up by the Darmouth motto: “vox clamantis in deserto.”  The first half of Advent is our call to prepare for the 2nd coming of Jesus, His return in glory at the end of time.  We prepare with trust in His Love evidenced by His Mercy fully inclusive of His Justice.  The second half of Advent is our call to prepare to celebrate Jesus 1st coming, His birth.

But how might “I” best prepare?  Turn to Scripture and Sacrament in a rich way.  In addition to Sunday Masses catch some weekday Masses.  During Advent’s first half, the readings are all about Jesus’ 2nd coming.  Once into the back half of Advent, it’s a good idea to do the same because the readings are about Jesus’ birth.

Finally, Advent is a penitential season.  Penance is all about positive change.  Take full advantage of the Sacrament of Reconciliation (  Having received forgiveness, we experience truly joyful & peaceful change in our dispositions toward God, neighbor, and self.

And so, God bless us all as we respond positively to John the Baptist’s “vox clamantis in deserto” entreating us to “prepare the way of the Lord.”  For those who may not have availed themselves of the Sacrament of Reconciliation in a “long time,” here are some helpful practical tips:

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