Take time to reflect this Advent
THE first digital doors have opened on the Catholic bishops' interactive online Advent calendar this week.
Advent marks the beginning of the Church's year and the time of spiritual preparation for the Lord's coming at Christmas.
Archbishop of Armagh Eamon Martin said it was "a time of waiting, conversion and hope".
"Advent also prepares us for the second coming of Christ at the end of time," he said.
"Preparation does not happen at once but over time and so each day of Advent allows us to reflect on the joy of the Gospel."
"The seasons of Advent and Christmas occur in the depth of winter reminding us that Christ was born to bring hope to a darkened world.
"As the prophet Isaiah said, 'the people that wait in darkness see a great light'.
Dr Martin said the online calendar offered an opportunity for people to reflect on the meaning of Advent.
"I ask that people would not just reflect on the content personally but to #sharethejourney with others on social media so that they too can take a few moments of pause, in the stillness to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas which is that Christ is alive and that He is our hope," he said.
The online Advent calendar is at www.catholicbishops.ie/adventcalendar