Loading

Advent for singles: A season of waiting

Laraine Bennett

Advent and the Christmas season can be a stressful time for singles. Visions of happy couples strolling hand in hand dance in their heads. Sometimes it can be hard to prepare joyfully for Christ’s birth when nearly every activity, invitation, and Christmas song reminds you that you are alone.

Pope Benedict (when he was Cardinal Ratzinger) wrote a beautiful meditation on the meaning of Advent for those who are sick or suffering, but it resonates beautifully for anyone, whether single or in a relationship. The Pope points out that it is precisely in moments of suffering that we come to understand more profoundly God’s love and mercy and in particular the significance of God coming to us as a tiny babe.

The Pope says that there are three key elements of Advent:  visitation (or presence); waiting; and joy.

Visitation. We need to see Advent as a visit from the Lord. Expecting visitors can be stressful, though joyful, and a visitation of illness is often seen as the antithesis of something joyful. Yet the Pope reminds us that you can find the joy when you see it as a visit from the Lord.

He suggests that we keep a mental diary during Advent, considering each moment in the day as a small gift, taking note of all the good things, the times during each and every day that the Lord visits us—every small joy. Another way to do this is to keep an actual diary, a “gratitude journal,” recounting moments when we experienced a visit from the Lord.

Advent is a time of waiting. Singles often find themselves waiting. Waiting to meet “the one.” Waiting to be in a relationship. Waiting to be done waiting. Yet we can learn from children, for whom waiting is really the best part. They wait in joyful wonder and anticipation for Christmas Day.

Pope Benedict reminds us that, for the Christian, each moment in time is significant, meaningful. Especially for those who suffer, there is no meaningless moment. Each moment is filled with God’s presence and His hope. He is already here, in a hidden way, in a way that points to a future joy. During Advent, we can seek the hidden blessing in each moment.

Advent is a time of joy. Pope Benedict tells us that our beautiful Advent customs are a form of prayer, rooted in Scripture. For example, “Then shall all the trees of the wood sing for joy before the Lord, for he comes” (Psalm 96). He points out particularly the Christmas tree, Christmas baking, and gift giving as ways to share our joy. When we share these customs with our friends and family, we are doing our part to bring Christ to others. Singles can immerse themselves in the many beautiful Advent customs, perhaps baking for neighbors and friends, bringing gifts to the needy or visiting those who are truly alone—those in nursing homes, prisons, or hospitals during the Christmas season. Most importantly, it is a time, as Pope Benedict writes, to “let the signs of God’s presence penetrate our souls.”

This article originally appeared on Catholic Match.com, which is a part of the 4marks Network. 4marks offers a variety of online services to Catholics, including our Temperament Test, single Catholic service and Trivia. To learn more about any of our services or how 4marks is helping Catholics connect online in order to deepen their faith offline visit www.4marks.com. Reprinted with permission.

Topics: Advent & Christmas , Culture , Faith , Marriage , Personal Growth , Prayer , Relationships , Single years

Laraine Bennett co-authored, with her husband Art, The Temperament God Gave Your Spouse and The Temperament God Gave You, published by Sophia Institute Press. Their new book, The Emotions God Gave You, is due Spring 2011. Please visit their website at http://temperaments.sophiainstitute.com/.

View all articles by Laraine Bennett

Ads by Google
(What's this?)

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

RECENT POSTS

OUR TOPICS

Abortion (42)  Advent & Christmas (19)  Beauty (2)  Bioethics (4)  Books (55)  Church history (14)  Church teaching (28)  Contraception (22)  Culture (119)  Current Events (85)  Dating (15)  Death (4)  Depression (14)  Divorce (7)  Education (12)  Eucharist (3)  Exercise (3)  Faith (213)  Family (86)  Fashion (5)  Feminism (12)  Fertility (2)  Fitness (1)  Food (2)  Forgiveness (17)  Friendship (18)  Generosity (2)  Girl Scouts (2)  Grieving (1)  Health (23)  Home Management (17)  Humor (14)  Leadership (4)  Lent & Easter (12)  Liturgical Year (9)  Marian devotion (8)  Marriage (33)  Mature Years (5)  Meditations (17)  Mental illness (1)  Mercy (1)  Military Families (2)  Ministry (4)  Miscarriage (1)  Motherhood (55)  Movies (1)  Music (4)  Natural Family Planning (2)  Nutrition (4)  Parenting (44)  Personal Growth (105)  Politics (3)  Pornography (3)  Prayer (31)  Pro-Life (26)  Psychology (1)  Reflections (4)  Relationships (44)  Religious freedom (10)  Saints (9)  Scripture (6)  Service (8)  Sexuality (18)  Single years (4)  Social justice (1)  Social Networking (5)  Special Needs (3)  Spirituality (2)  Suffering (13)  Suicide (1)  Travel (11)  Welcome (1)  Women in the Church (3)  Women's Health (20)  Workplace (12)  Writings of the Saints (8)  Young Women (39) 

Apr
23

Liturgical Calendar

April 23, 2014

Wednesday within the Octa ve of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 28:8-15

Gospel
Date
04/22/14
04/21/14
04/20/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Acts 3:1-10
Gospel:: Lk 24:13-35

Saint of the Day

St. Adalbert of Prague »

Saint
Date
04/21/14
04/20/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 28:8-15

Homily
Date
04/22/14
04/21/14
04/20/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: