So, yesterday at Mass our beloved priest began his homily by mentioning that it's never too late to have a good Advent and encouraged anyone who feels they did not really commit to Advent yet to start today. His words are particularly relevant to our upcoming study of mercy in the Jubilee year, because God's mercy applies to each one of us.
But then, he continued, explaining that there are others who probably had a first week of Advent full of peace and joy and prayer. It is easy in the beginning of most endeavors to have high expectations and to plow through all of our plans eagerly. Unfortunately, he reminded us, this is when the devil jumps in and tries to thwart those plans...eagerly.
Busted! He opened my eyes in an instant that this was happening to me. On the way to Mass, I was pondering how I had the most wonderful prayer experiences and overall pleasant days up until Thursday, but when our daily routine changed for the weekend, my devotions and prayer time evaporated. I had committed to a lot and when things were easy, it was not only do-able but enjoyable and beneficial.
The devil came along, saw his opportunity, and pounced! She didn't get her devotion time in on a busy Friday? Good! I'll make sure she neglects it on Saturday, too! Sure enough, on Sunday morning I felt behind and stressed and sad that I hadn't kept up with my quiet time with Jesus.
Fortunately, our priest's words snapped me out of lamentation and urged me to change my ways and let Christ make all things new that day. I went home and devoted several hours (with plenty of interruptions) to catching up on my devotionals and truly savored the time with Christ, demanding that the devil get behind me and no longer deprive me of prayer.
Today I feel was a success. I didn't have the lengthy prayer time I had daily last week, but I did wake early to ensure I would have adequate time to receive God's grace for the day. And I plan to do that again tomorrow. My heart longs for time with the Lord, and I will fight the evil one who wants to keep me from God.
How did your first week of Advent go? Were you slow to start? Did you hit any opposition yet?