This Advent, I stumbled upon a nice little devotional that I just had to share. A Contemplative Las Posadas was written by Bill Snyder. Bill is the founder of Patchwork Heart Ministries, and host of the Breadbox Media show Young Catholics Respond. The devotional follows a typical nine-day novena format, and it utilizes the lyrics of the traditional Posada Navideña song as it’s background.
What is the Posada Navideña? It is an Advent tradition primarily celebrated in Mexico. This novena traces the journey of ST. Joseph and the Blessed Mother from their home in Nazareth to Bethlehem, the eventual birthplace of our Lord. Ina traditional setting, participants will process from house to house singing a song requesting lodging. Much; like the real events, they are rejected until finally, a reluctant innkeeper lets them in.
Bill has structured his devotional to serve as an at-home nine-day novena. Throughout the nine days, readers are presented with reflections on hope, fear, peace, rejection, rest, and more to prepare hearts for the coming of Christ. The devotional is also heavily focused on the often forgotten penitential reason for the season of Advent.
To give you a feel for this devotional booklet, what follows is the daily layout and a brief quote from each day’s meditation.
The First Day – A Call to Hope: “Today, as Catholics, we must always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks about the reason for our hope (cf 1 Peter 3:15).”
The Second Day – Triumph Over Fear: “Fear is a tireless torrent spewing a distracting message of discouragement and desolation. Faith cannot grow in a heart that is transfixed on the storm.”
The Third Day – The Resilience of Peace: “Peace can be fleeting, fickle, and fragile but it has incredible resilience.”
The Fourth Day – The Resonance of Rejection: “Our actions or lack thereof to these fleeting moments either bring about the kingdom of God or perpetuate evil.”
The Fifth Day – The Gift of Acceptance: “We, like Christ, can choose to see potential over present circumstance and accept others, offering them food, shelter, protection, friendship, and love.”
The Sixth Day – The Burden of Weariness: “God super empowers our sufferings, uniting them to His, to bring about our salvation and the salvation of those we love.”
The Seventh Day – The Gift or Rest: “Resting and listening to Christ with an unburdened heart transforms us from being a slave to our vulnerabilities and weaknesses to being His disciple and friend.”
The Eighth Day – The Scourge of Intolerance: “Our Heavenly Father, by placing us in the paths of people and putting us in situations that challenge us, is calling us to become more tolerant of one another.”
The Ninth Day – The Response of Mercy: “During this Christmas season, let us be people who celebrate with joy the arrival of our Savior by allowing the mercy He has shown us permeate our being, and with humility, demonstrate that mercy to all.”
Journey with Mary and Joseph through Advent or any time of the year. The themes included throughout this nine-day novena are worthwhile spending time on reflection regardless of the calendar. Be the innkeeper that opens your heart to God this year on your own Posada Navideña journey.