Each year, the excitement and anticipation for the Christmas season fills us with joy. We decorate, bake, and wrap gifts, as well as enjoy Christmas parties, caroling, and Christmas concerts. This excitement is a good thing — all of these activities lend themselves to the joy of celebrating the birth of Christ. However, one aspect is often overlooked in the excitement and busyness of the season — the need to spiritually prepare for Christmas. Just as we prepare our homes to celebrate Christmas, we also must prepare our hearts to welcome Him.
At St. Peter Catholic Church, we have a beautiful devotion during the Advent season that helps us to prepare our hearts and focus on the most important part of Christmas — the birth of Jesus. This devotion is the Stations of the Nativity.
“The Stations of the Nativity is a way for people to enter into the infancy narrative of the Lord,”
Fr. Clark says. “When I was in seminary, I saw a Holy Card with a picture of the Nativity and on the back, it listed 14 stations. I developed a devotional with an Old Testament prophecy, the New Testament fulfillment of that prophecy, and a reflection from one of the Church fathers.
“We have been using this devotional in the parish for the last couple of years to remind us of the importance of ‘Oh come let us adore Him!’” he adds.
This special event is held at several times on Wednesday, Dec. 6 — 2:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m., and 7 p.m. All parishioners are encouraged to both attend and invite others to come and focus our hearts and minds on Jesus.
“Each year, the Christmas lights go up earlier, the shopping lists get longer, and the parties become overwhelming — all for what?” Fr. Clark says. “Or better yet, all for who? In the present secular age and the ‘advent’ of materialism, we must pause and reflect upon the mystery of God becoming man. The Incarnation of Jesus shows humanity the depths of God’s love for us.
“May we find Him in the fidelity of our vocations, just as Mary and Joseph had,” he adds. “May we discover Him in the simplicity of life this Advent, just like the shepherds in the field. May we search for the mystery of God through wisdom, like the Magi from the East. May we seek to find the infant Messiah in the manger through the reflections of this meditation.”
As we wait in joyful hope and prepare for Christmas this Advent season, all are encouraged to come and experience the beauty of the life of the Christ Child through the Stations of the Nativity. Let us slow down and prepare our hearts and not just our homes to welcome Him.
Stations of the Nativity — Wednesday, Dec. 6, in Bishop Vasa Hall, 2:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m., and 7 p.m.