I like Advent very much. Not growing up a Catholic, my childhood Protestant Church at the time had no Advent to precede Christmas. So, among the many spiritual riches of our Catholic Tradition, I was given Advent when I started attending the Catholic Church.
Even still, our society doesn’t celebrate Advent at all. There is a diminished sense that the time before Christmas is still a time of preparation. But business has high-jacked this time as a time to buy gifts, to spend lavishly, even if you have to go into debt. (See this sad article: HERE).
There are two remedies for this, short of a Vatican takeover of the United States and a subsequent prohibition of Christmas celebration before December 25.
First, I am very blessed as a Priest that every day of Advent (over its almost 4 weeks) I will celebrate Advent Masses. The Scripture Readings and prayers and songs in these Masses are all about Advent and the various comings of the Lord (Second Coming at the end of time, First coming at Christmas, and how he comes to us in between these two events).
Every day I will pray the Liturgy of the Hours (the Church’s Official Morning and Evening Prayer and other spiritual readings), where everything is again geared for Advent. I will be reading some book specifically about Advent as daily spiritual meditation. And I have to preach Advent for 4 weeks. This means I get to live in "the world of Advent" while still stepping in and out of our consumer society’s "holiday season."
I suggest to anyone reading this that you can experience some of this yourself without having to enter a monastery! The U.S. Bishops website has the daily Scripture Readings for Mass (HERE). You could read these Scripture passages daily for a "taste of Advent." You could, if so blessed, actually attend some daily Masses in Advent. You might also read a Catholic daily devotional booklet (like Living Faith) which gives meditations on Advent. The U. S. Bishops website also has a very brief daily video reflection which will be on Advent until December 25. (Found on the same page as the daily Mass Readings)
Second, when Christmas does come, then we can celebrate what I call "the Spiritual Christmas Season." But I shall have more to say on that later.
Till then, "Merry Advent!"
View and Listen to a Beautiful Advent Hymn HERE