The average Christian is well acquainted with the Church's recommendation to prepare for major liturgical feasts (including the feasts of saints) through the praying of a novena, most commonly prayed nine days preceding the feast. The coming of the Messiah's birth is of no exception!
"If the season of Advent, in general, according to the wish of Holy Mother Church, should be sanctified by mortification and prayer, this is true in a special sense of the days immediately preceding the great feast of the Nativity. The better our preparation, the more graces we shall receive. It is, therefore, of great importance to know what obstacles bar the way for divine grace." - Jesus Model of the Religious
With eager desire for the coming of Christ, let us hasten to pray with great fervor the Christmas novena, spending these last days of Advent earnestly preparing our hearts - that it may be a place where the Divine Child wishes to be born anew and rest His sacred head.
"If a prince wishes to honor a person with his presence, the host diligently removes whatever might give offense to the distinguished guest, and endeavors in every possible manner to please him. How solicitous should we be to offer the Divine Child and agreeable resting place in our heart! In union with all pious souls, we will lovingly offer reparation to Jesus for the coldness of those who, like the Bethlehemites, suffer the Lord to knock in vain for shelter. Let us vie with one another to offer Him at His coming a pure, humble, love-inflamed heart." - Jesus Model of the Religious
December 17: O Sapientia