Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of December 19, 2005
Christ is the reason for the season
Stop. Pray. Reflect. Read. And prepare for Jesus' birth
By BILL GLEN
"People need to step away from the madness before Christmas and spend time alone with God,"
- Lynnell Prediger
"The people of Israel were getting ready for the Messiah because the prophets were speaking. The same thing applies for us.
"That's why the Church gives us the readings."
With the readings, Father Brian Inglis says parents can reveal the true essence of Christmas to their children by teaching them that there are many other children who are less fortunate.
"Parents could encourage their children to help with a Christmas basket, getting them involved by thinking how they can contribute to someone else's Christmas," said Inglis, pastor of Our Lady of the Foothills in Hinton.
"Children find great comfort and meaning in being generous to other people."
Advent is about getting focused on the central meaning of Christmas in December which is often taken up with everything else, he said.
"Advent is designed by the Church and by tradition. The wreath in a home or in a church that marks the time and the prayers that go with it, are ways to prepare for the coming of Christ."
Inglis suggests that children should be encouraged to think of other people because Christmas is a time of giving, not getting.
For a little change of pace, Lynnell Prediger suggests Catholics should slow down and spend more time in prayer.
"They can take a retreat. People need to step away from the madness before Christmas and spend time alone with God," said Prediger, program director of the Providence Renewal Centre.
"During a retreat, they find peace amidst the rush. They tend to focus on the real meaning of Christmas and not the commercialism."
The centre is offering an overnight, 22-hour retreat Dec. 16-17 called Come to the Quiet. She recommends it for any person who is unsettled by the rush of the season.
"People see that Christ is the reason for the season."
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