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Making the most of Advent, when you’re alone

ADVENT WREATH

Warren Bouton | Shutterstock

Katrina Fernandez - published on 11/30/17

Go ahead about put out an Advent wreath and observe the liturgical seasons.

Dear Katrina,

I was wondering how to celebrate feast days and holidays as a single Catholic. My family isn’t Catholic and neither is my college roommate, and I can’t help but think what’s the point of making a feast day meal or an Advent wreath just for me? It’s quite lonely trying to practice my faith alone and I am looking for ways to reconnect with and celebrate my Catholicism.

Thanks!

Sienna

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Dear Sienna,  

I can imagine the spiritual isolation you’re feeling right now, but just because your family and roommate are not Catholic doesn’t mean you can’t invite them to celebrate with you. Go ahead and put out an Advent wreath and observe the liturgical seasons. In fact, it’s in this observation of the seasons that we can feel connected to the Church Universal as a person who is part of a larger body of believers. When you pray the Liturgy of the Hours or the Angelus know that you pray with Catholics all over the world. When we go to Mass and celebrate feast days we never truly celebrate alone. But I do understand; we all long for more intimate connections.

While your roommate might be a little uneasy eating Agatha Cakes, you can still celebrate the feast day by attending a daily Mass and reading about the saint from any number of books and online resources that detail the lives of saints. You don’t have commemorate every feast and holiday with a meal or some type of liturgical craft to feel like you’re participating in your faith. While it is an aspect of our faith, it’s not the central part. The central part is the Mass, and you’re never alone there.

I’ll give you the advice I wish I’d given myself at your age.

Get involved at your parish. Join the youth group or any kind of Bible study group, charitable outreach group, or lay spiritual group so you have that sense of community. Celebrate all those distinctively Catholic liturgical and cultural events with your parish family. Not only will this make you feel less isolated, but it will also help you stay connected to your faith and make it feel more like an active part of your life.

If you more introverted and have trouble stepping outside your comfort zone, that’s OK, too. You can still be part of a community. There are plenty of online social networking communities to become a part of. You can join online book clubs that “meet” to discuss spiritual reading and offer support and prayers for their members.  

Use this more carefree time in your life to develop good prayer habits now! Take advantage of the this time to study and grow in prayer, and then you can use those habits to integrate into your future family life. Don’t wait until when/if you have children and a family to live actively live your faith, because you may not have the same time to devote to it as you do now.    

So grab your liturgical calendar, a Magnificat, or some other resource and start actively living your faith!   

Tags:
AdventDevotions and Feasts
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