Happy Liturgical New Year!
Happy New Year, or liturgical new year, that is! Every Advent, the Church marks the beginning of a new year with a special season of preparation for the celebration of Christ’s birth. As we celebrate the beginning of a new church year, we are also ending our blog, which has truly been a joy and a blessing to write. It’s been a wonderful exercise to reflect back each month on how God is working in our lives and calling us to grow, and an activity that I think we’ll continue in the future in our marriage journal.
This year has been truly one of the most challenging, eventful, and blessed years of our lives. We started out the year with our ring blessing ceremony, got through some pretty epic wedding planning disasters, joined the Schoenstatt movement, traveled back to the U.S., got married, and moved into our new apartment here in Santiago, all while Juan is finishing up his final semesters in the university and I having been attempting to finish my thesis and have been working my first year as a university instructor.
And now we are getting ready to celebrate our first Christmas together as a married couple. I am so excited to start some new family traditions with Juan and find our unique way to live an authentically Catholic Advent and Christmas season, preparing to welcome Christ once again into our hearts and into our marriage.
The Church has so many wonderful traditions to help us really enter into the season. I’ve been looking for ideas on the Internet and so besides the traditional Advent practices like the Advent wreath, Advent music, and celebrating St. Nicholas’ feast day, Juan and I are going to take advantage of other resources like daily Advent reflections from Bishop Robert Barron, and this lovely calendar from the USCCB with reflections and calls to prayer for each day of advent. I especially love this calendar because of its missionary spirit and practical ways to put the Gospel into practice.
This Advent season, I think, has special significance and urgency as many recent world events have highlighted the desperate need we have for Christ in our world. As Christians, we have the joy of loving the true and living God and the duty of spreading the Gospel, and as married couples we have the privilege of bringing God’s love to the world in a special way, creating strong families and teaching young minds to love the Lord. My prayer is that God make Juan and I worthy of the grace we have received, and help us bring his love to the world in any small way in which we are able.
Thank you so much to all our brother and sisters in Christ who have read out blog and kept us in your prayers this year. We are so very grateful.
These last four months of marriage have been perfectly wonderful. Though it may seem strange to say after only four months, I feel as though being Juan’s wife is so natural that it’s strange to think there was time when we weren’t married. I’m so excited for everything the future has in store for us.
Happy Liturgical New Year, Blessed Advent, and Merry Christmas from the Aguilera family to yours!