It is only fitting that I have been given the opportunity to contemplate the idea of worshiping fully during the Advent season. When I reflected on spending less, giving more, and loving all during the Advent season my mind spun with experiences from my own life and examples from my family and friends. Yet when I took a moment to think about worshipping more fully during Advent I found myself at a standstill. My first thought was to simply go back to thinking about the three other concepts and revel in the moments of my good deeds, homemade gifts, and the overwhelming sense of love I feel during the Advent season. And then I thought, worship fully. Worship Jesus fully. Worship Jesus fully on the celebration of His birthday, of His coming, and of the love and salvation He brought to the world. And it hit me like a ton of bricks. This is the foundation of Advent, this is what God wants me to think about and do during the Advent season. Sure I can spend less, give more, and love all but why am I doing it during the Advent season if not to ultimately worship Jesus more fully. If I are going to celebrate the birth of Jesus why wouldn’t I let thoughts of Jesus’ love fill my mind instead of being consumed by thoughts about the gifts I want, the gifts I feel obligated to buy for others, and that oh so real terror that fills me with dread when I realize that I am going to get a gift I don’t want and already can’t wait to return it. Yes, I am talking about that Susan Boyle CD my brother got me three years ago.

As I reflected about my experiences of worship during the Advent season one day stuck out in particular. I had never viewed my family’s tradition of heading to Crystal Mountain in my home state of Washington on Christmas Eve as a way of worship. Yet when I thought about it, I realized that worship is exactly what it is. As I reflect on the beauty of the snow, mountains, and trees in awe of God’s ability to create such beauty I am worshiping God more fully. The moments I spend sitting on the ski lift reflecting on my life and the many blessings I have received from God is worship. The time I spend with family thanking God for each and every person present is worship. And each and every time I turn my thoughts and praise to God I am worshiping more fully. As I prepare for the start of the Advent season, I enter it with a new realization that this reflection, awe, and love should be present each and everyday in everyone I meet and everything I see.

Kate Donahue is a Junior Nursing major from Fox Island, Washington. She currently serves on the 10 PM Mass Committee and was the Staff Coordinator for Manresa 2012. Kate always enjoys a good laugh and funny joke.