Today’s post features the next in an Advent series from Fr. Michael Schleupner. Can you take a few quiet moments today to sit with this lesson, a homily that Fr. Mike shared last week?

Getting Ready – 2Fr. Michael Schleupner

Dear Friends,
The purple vestments of Advent call us to welcome Jesus more fully into our lives. We are to receive him into every dimension of our being. This will be our spiritual way to prepare for Christmas. To respond to this Advent calling, I make several rather simple recommendations.

First, identify the number one fault or imperfection or sin in our life right now. Don’t try to list all of our faults or imperfections or sins. Just get in touch with what the number one thing seems to be. That will be enough.

Then, every evening, review the day that is ending, or every morning, review the prior day. Look at it through this lens of the number one area where you need to grow. See how you have done and ask God for forgiveness for any lapses.

Follow this with what we call an Act of Contrition. We might also call this a Prayer for Forgiveness or a Prayer of Resolve.
I recommend the following prayer, different from what I learned as a child, but I find it to be positive and ending with the focus on God and God’s love.

“My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart.
In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good,
I have sinned against you, whom I should love above all things.
I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin.
Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for us.
In his name, my God, have mercy. Amen.”

Finally, I recommend that we bring this number one area for growth to the Penitential Rite at the beginning of Mass. Do this every time you come to Mass.

In this way, allow God and God’s grace to slowly work in you on this. Keep doing this for weeks and months and give God a chance to help you. I will continue these thoughts on Getting Ready next week.

~Father Michael Schleupner

The Act of Contrition above is from The Rite of Penance of the Roman Ritual.