Monday, November 28, 2011

My Heart is a Stable

When I think of Advent, I think of Vienna, Austria, in 1998.  My family and I traveled with our church choir for an Advent singing trip (BC - before I was Catholic).

Above you can see the family in Vienna (I have the dumb hat on) standing in front of a giant advent wreath!  The spirit of Christmas was alive and well in Vienna.  The windows of the city hall were each a door of an advent calendar, and were changed to reflect changes each day.  Lights, garland, carolers, musicians, and Christmas markets flooded the streets at Stephansplatz and beyond.  To me, it was sort of a fairytale memory.  Outdoor markets lit by Christmas lights, freezing cold but loving every moment, strolling musicians, drinking hot spiced wine out of mugs as we walked along, the hustle and bustle...all to the backdrop of St. Stephan's Cathedral.

As a non-Catholic who didn't know, at the time, she would be seeing Pope JPII two months from this day and be in RCIA in less from a year from this time, I appreciated the beauty and sacredness of this site immediately.  I was in awe.  The original church was built in 1147, and the idea that people have been worshipping in this spot for so many years touched my heart.  And, the music nerd in me totally geeked out since Mozart was married here and his funeral was here.  Nerd alert.

Austria did an amazing job of reminding everyone to prepare.

What does that mean, exactly?  There were visible signs, reminders, that God was coming.  When I think of Advent, I think of this preparation.  Signs were all around me, reminding me the purpose for the season.  I wish there were more signs around St. Louis like this, but there are more important ways to prepare as well.

Last week, I did a mini-bible study with my 6th grade PSR students (they are great!).  We looked up verses regarding advent and the coming of Christ.  What can you do to prepare?  Our class found that prayer, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and the idea that it is better to give than to receive are key concepts.  I also found this site about Catholic Traditions interesting, and I learned a few new things!

As we prepare our hearts, O come Emmanuel and use my heart as your manger.

My Heart is a Stable {Song}

1 comment:

  1. "If you haven't any charity in your heart you have the worst kind of heart trouble" to cure it help people, let's unite for one good cause, be a volunteer"save lives"!mawaddainternationalaid