Welcome to Advent Reflections for 2013 which will be authored by Joseph O'Keefe, S.J., director of the Center for Ignatian Spirituality. Please join us each week for a new Reflection.
Advent Reflections 2013
The Catholic tradition calls us to another way of celebrating. In our liturgical calendar, Christmas is an octave (eight days) that begins Christmas Eve and ends on January 1. There is the familiar tradition of the twelve days of Christmas, which begin on Christmas Eve and end on Epiphany, traditionally celebrated on January 6. And the Church’s Season of Christmas starts on December 24 and ends on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, which we will celebrate on January 12, 2014. As we come to the end of these on-line reflections here at Boston College, I urge you to savor the extended days of Christmas during the weeks following December 25.
In the year 1223, Saint Francis of Assisi began a practice by which Christians have engaged in a creative imagining of the circumstances of Christ’s birth. For centuries, this season has been marked by a representation variously called the crèche, the manger, or the nativity scene. Nativity scenes reflect the rich array of cultures in which Christians live; some nativity scenes are large and elaborate, and others are beautiful in their simplicity.
During Advent, “We celebrate the coming of God into our world and into our lives,” Fr. Joseph O’Keefe tells us. Based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, Fr. O’Keefe offers a step-by-step guide to praying the Examen so that we may “reflect on the coming of God into our lives here and now.” » Click here to read more