Advent is not a season of penance, but of preparation. Advent prepares us for the two comings of Christ, that is, the Incarnation and the Eschaton. However, amid the garlands and the gifts, we all know how easy it is to become wrapped up in the party planning on earth and forget to plan for the eternal banquet in heaven.
Thus an Advent examination of conscience is not amiss. While not encouraging it as the grump who steals the joy of Christmas, what better way to prepare for Christ than by preparing our conscience? Think of it as a spiritual shopping list that will help us not spend beyond our budget, but rather receive beyond our dreams. continued