Advent Reflection: 9, 8, 7… days till Christmas!

The countdown has begun – and with it the Christmas Novena… and I need your prayers!

Ready or not, here I come! Christmas is around the liturgical corner. We still have another week plus of the Advent Season left, but this “last lap” is meant to be a more intensified time of prayer and preparation. And this prep time cannot be simply about buying and wrapping gifts… baking cookies and attending parties… decorating homes and work stations… sending cards and fretting over family gatherings. No, this intensified time of preparation must be primarily about Jesus Christ – the Reason for the Season.

Prayer then must be at the top of our Christmas To Do list. That’s why the Church encourages us to prayerfully ponder and recite the O Antiphons (see tomorrow’s blog) and to pray a traditional Christmas Novena. Novenas –nine days of prayer– are a good and wholesome practice. They remind us of New Testament times, such as when Mary, the Apostles and other disciples remained in Jerusalem, at Jesus’ bidding, and prayed for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, so that with “power from on high” they might proclaim Christ to the nations.

We too need power.

We too need power from on high – the Holy Spirit.

We need the Holy Spirit this Christmas Day, Octave and Season – and into the New Year.

Let us pray.

And allow me to be so bold as to ask that you pray for me in a special way until Christmas Day – and beyond, if you’d like!

Let us join the thousands and millions of Catholics throughout the world who will pray a Christmas Novena between December 16-24, alone or with other believers, to be sure that we make an inn for Christ in our hearts.

Christmas Novenas can be found on various websites, including our own ( as well as these, which are appropriate for individuals, and families or groups.

For a short on-the-go prayer that can be said during the next 9 days, click here.

Be sure to visit my web page for additional Advent and Christmas resources, for various evangelization resources, and to view Prepare The Way and my Advent and Christmas Season guests, Bishop Oscar Cantú, the Archbishop of San Antonio Gustavo García-Siller, and Fr. George Montague, SM.


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