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Making the Most of Advent

Making the Most of Advent

Advent is here. Are you ready? How can prepare spiritually for Christmas? Dan and Melissa discuss ways we can make the most of Advent, and how we can prepare our hearts for Christmas during Advent with devotional ideas and lots of resources.


Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • Why is Advent so important in the liturgical calendar?Adventkranz_andrea2
  • How does imagery, like icons and manger scenes, help to orient our hearts toward God?
  • How does the Old Testament help us understand Advent?
  • How can we stir up the longing for Jesus that we want during Advent?
  • Why is Advent considered a penitential season?
  • Daily Mass readings and the Liturgy of the Hours as extra devotionals during Advent.
  • Preparing your heart before Mass.
  • Why is confession so important during Advent?
  • What devotional elements are essential in spiritual preparation for Christmas?
Making the most of Advent

Advent: the Manger on Dan Burke’s home altar, as mentioned in today’s show (click on picture for larger version)


  • Discovering Christ – Spiritual growth program, a seven-week experience that invites guests to hear the Good News and personally encounter Jesus Christ
  • How do I Set Up a Home Altar? – post on
  • Divine Intimacy – Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D.
  • The Four Last Things – Catholic Culture link
  • iBreviary (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, Kindle Fire, Windows Phone 7, Blackberry, mobile version, widgets): Contains the Liturgy of the Hours and also all the readings from the Mass
  • United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) website – subscribe to Daily Readings
  • Links to Episcopal Conferences –  Catholic News Agency links to countries or regions with Bishops’ Conferences around the globe; scroll down for links throughout the world (the USCCB link also has links to Bishops’ Conferences in various states)
  • The Vatican Website – official website of The Holy See; to view the Vatican Website in a different language, click on the box in the top right-hand corner where it says English, then scroll down to the language that you would like to use
  • 1 Corinthians 11:27 – “Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord.” – USCCB Bible link
  • Matthew 7:21-23 – “…I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.” – USCCB Bible link
  • Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy –
  • Magnificat Advent Companion – softcover book
  • Magnificat Advent Companion – ebooks
  • On The Incarnation – Athanasius of Alexandria
  • EWTN Television Schedule
  • EWTN Religious Catalogue
  • Onething 2015 – Dan Burke speaking engagement, Kansas City (Dec. 28-31)
  • Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:23 – “May the God of peace himself make you perfectly holy and may you entirely, spirit, soul, and body, be preserved blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” – USCCB Bible link
  • For Call in questions for future shows 818-646-7729 — please leave your name, location, and question.
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About Dan Burke

Dan is the President of the Avila Foundation, the parent organization of, the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, Divine Intimacy Radio and Divine Intimacy Radio - Resources Edition, Into the Deep Parish Programs, the Apostoli Viae (Apostles of the Way) Community, and the FireLight Student Leadership Formation Program, author of the award-winning book, Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God, and his newest books Finding God Through Meditation-St. Peter of Alcantara, 30 Days with Teresa of Avila, Into the Deep and Living the Mystery of Merciful Love: 30 Days with Thérèse of Lisieux. Beyond his "contagious" love for Jesus and His Church, he is a grateful husband and father of four, the Executive Director of and writer for EWTN's National Catholic Register, a regular co-host on Register Radio, a writer and speaker who provides online spiritual formation and travels to share his conversion story and the great riches that the Church provides us through authentic Catholic spirituality. Dan has been featured on EWTN's Journey Home program and numerous radio programs.

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  • Judy Silhan

    Thanks, Melissa and Dan for one of your best programs yet. Just yesterday I was thinking of how “unfocused” I have been during this first week of Advent, nothing in my home suggesting the coming of Christ, no festive spirit, only stressful, daily commitments. I especially loved your idea of putting the manger on the altar where I pray. I have not even, as yet, retrieved the manger from storage. In fact, Dan, I printed the picture you have here on Spiritual Direction. It is beautiful. Melissa, thank you for the suggestion to read and meditate on St. Athanasius’ On the Incarnation. Your suggestion, Dan, of fasting from TV, especially when it does not draw our hearts to God, has resulted in more reading from books that do draw me to Him, but stayed on the shelves because I was too busy. Stop watching TV, and voila, I have time to read. God bless you both, and thanks again. Happy Advent to you.

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