A Jesuit’s Tips for a More Meaningful Advent

Advent wreathJesuit Father Larry Gillick, director of the Deglman Center for Ignatian Spirituality at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., says that “Advent is a joyful time, if you enjoy longing.”

In our culture, “we don’t like waiting, we like instantaneous gratification,” Fr. Gillick says. So he offers several tips in the video below on how we can have an Advent that will make Christmas special.

One suggestion Fr. Gillick has is to wait to decorate the tree. “Put the Christmas tree up during Advent but don’t decorate it, indicating that there’s going to be life coming. It’s coming, but it’s not here yet,” he says.

According to Fr. Gillick, “All the scriptures of Advent are not about having, but about wanting and longing, hungering and thirsting.”

He suggests using symbols of “emptiness” such as a putting out an empty bowl or waiting to place Jesus in the Nativity scene.

“If you enjoy not having, then you’ll know what Advent is and you’ll have a full Christmas that will last longer than Christmas day,” Fr. Gillick says.

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