As Advent quickly approaches, there have been so many wonderful resources, journals, reflection series, websites and books. It can be overwhelming, and perhaps you weren’t sure how to pick one or two to use. Now, with Advent only a few days away, you might be scrambling through emails or cringing at quick-shipping prices. If you were hoping for a journaling experience which will guide you through the days of Advent, it’s not too late!
I am so excited to share two distinct Advent journals – both which are free. They are pdf downloads, which means you can print at your convenience. One journal centers around the ancient practice of lectio divina. Each day highlights a verse or passage, prayerfully chosen from the daily readings. If you aren’t someone who typically reads the daily readings, this is a great way to gently infuse your day with their wisdom. If you do spend time with the daily readings, incorporating the practice of lectio divina can deepen your study and reflection. I’ve included within the journal a page with all the formatting, but the Scripture focus is left up to you. Since it’s a pdf, you can print the journal as is, or print 31 pages of the “blank” page so you can customize your journal.
The second journal has technically started already (on Nov. 26) but it’s still there and still free and still a great journal. The second journal focuses specifically on the four Sundays of Advent. Each week leading up to Sunday, the journal walks you through the readings for Sunday. On Monday, you read and reflect on the First Reading, Tuesday the Psalm, and so on. Friday reflects on the readings as a whole: What are the connections, what are the themes? Saturday is the “what does this all mean for me?” day. What impact do these readings have on my life, my relationships, my family? You then carry the fruits of a week’s worth of reflections with you to Mass on Sunday. The Sunday page of the journal is left for the insights and wisdom you receive from your experience at Mass.
If either of these journals sound interesting to you, please head over to my website. Again, these are free, so you can download both, check them out, try them out, pick what works best for you. My prayer and hope for you this Advent is that no matter what you are choosing to do for Advent, you find a way to make these four weeks stand apart from the last four, and the four that will follow.
Advent is such a special time in our liturgical year. It happens during the noisiest time of our cultural year. The silence, the peaceful anticipation of Advent stands in stark contrast to the glitz and extravagance of the holiday season. Finding a way, daily, to connect with the deep roots of Advent will anchor us in our anticipation of the most mysterious reality: Jesus Christ, true God and true Man.