Do You Have a Theme for Advent?

We are half way through the Advent season of 2018 and by now you may have been noticing in your prayer life, or at Mass, or in some aspect of your spiritual reflections a “theme” of sorts that speaks to you, or stands out, grabbing your attention. Or perhaps not. If we are truly listening to God on a regular basis He is likely to get your attention and invite you to hear His special word to you, His special message of love.

So, during the rest of this Advent season, if you aren’t already doing so, I invite you to open your heart and spend the time necessary to allow this time of rich spiritual inspiration–in the Mass, Liturgy of the Hours, scripture, Catholic blogs and websites, private reflection and rosary meditation, etc–to bring you closer to our Lord and His Mother.

Then, let’s share together our “themes” of Advent. Would you like to be enriched by others’ insights, and share yours? Post it in the comment box below. It would be so nice to hear from you.

I will share mine soon. First I must get the nuns’ dinner on the table (you don’t want to see hungry nuns … not pretty)!

God bless you!

An Advent Theme

Hello, all. We’re back. That was a very long lunch (almost two days?)!

Do you ever find yourself frustrated when things around you seem to be yelling at you, “Ha! Ha! You are so out of control here! All of us out here (situations, people, plans, ideas, weather–on and on …) are designed to make you CRAZY! We are here laughing at you as you struggle to control us according to your designs. Sorry, it won’t work. Ha! Ha! Ha!”?

No. I didn’t think so.

But if you or I ever DID experience such temporary insanity, there is a way out. Surely, lots of ways. The way God showed me came after a holy–holy, mind you–game of Russian Roulette I played with Him the other day (Sometimes He will play the game with me, other times no. I wouldn’t recommend playing this on a normal basis in your conversations with our Lord, though!). I opened a little Advent meditation booklet and read a quote from then-current-Pope Benedict:

Pope Emeritus Benedict’s writings have such a way of touching the heart. But not with mere human comfort or sentiment. He brings the hard-core Truth into the light, and that challenges our darkness, as only the Light of Christ can do.

So, for me, this said, “Hello? God made Himself small for us. Why are you trying to be big? Bigger than God? Here is your example. It’s okay to be powerless, because that’s where love is. Your strength is not in having things go your way.”  

Oh, yeah. I forgot.

I felt like He was inviting me to try “child-likeness” for a change. And try to place all (especially myself) in his hands. Try being true. That means weak. So He can take over and make me free. When I am all tangled up in forcing my will and righteousness upon the world around me and even within me, there is no room for God’s help, and no peace either. Those “high thrones” where I had placed my hope–without even realizing it–were all around me, as if to suffocate me and block my view of heaven, and I had to come down from my thrones, back into the valley of humility. 

“But, Lord, how do I become childlike? I am so opposite of that and can’t even grasp the concept at this moment!”

“… he asks us to trust him and to LEARN how to live in truth and love.”

The word LEARN is key. Learning is a process. It means trying repeatedly. And I think if we sincerely try, He will act. He will do it (Is. 46:11). After the child has wobbled a bit taking baby steps, the parent reaches down and swoops up the child to the safety and glory of Mom or Dad’s arms. So, too, with our heavenly Father. Amen?

I thank Him for that little grace that set me free for the moment, and now I must gather my strength–no, my weakness!–and humbly try to walk like a child this Advent, keeping my focus on His Face and not my feet.

Thanks for listening. Now share a word that has spoken to your heart this season.

Comments 4

  1. To me prayer is the most rewarding thing i can do spiritually not just for myself but also for my loved ones and even the people that i have a hard time loving which i know God ask me to love my enemies. Devoution to prayer and praise to God gives me not always a quick answer but it gives me a relationship with God my father as a child of God knowing my Holy father is there to guide and protect me even when i can’t understand thats why i appreciate my dear nuns for there devotion to prayer that i have asked for.

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      Author

      Thank you, John. You are absolutely right about prayer and praise. How wise you are to say that it may not give you a quick answer but it gives you a relationship with God Almighty! our Father. And we are privileged to be able to pray for others in their need. Have a Merry Christmas!!

  2. J.M.+J.,T.

    December 16, 2018
    Gaudete Sunday

    This morning when I opened my Liturgy of the Hours, a small piece of paper fell from within its pages. It is a quote by André Louf, O.C.S..O. from his book Tuning into Grace, very much in keeping with the spirit of Advent–at least for me:

    “Holiness does not lie on the other side of temptation; it is to be found in the midst of temptation. It does not sit waiting for us on a level above our weakness; it is given us in weakness, or else we would elude the power of God that is operative only in our weakness.

    Rather we must learn to “abide” in weakness, and to do so full of faith, open to weakness and utter surrender to God’s mercy. It is only in our weakness that we are vulnerable to his love and power.

    Accordingly, to continue in the situation of temptation and weakness is the only way for us to connect with grace, the only way we can become miracles of God’s mercy.”

    Having spent 15 years in the Operating Room as a surgical tech, I had to be “in control”, from the sterile field, to the instruments for a given procedure, to the amount of sutures and sponges being used. It has been hard “letting go” of that controlling nature. Sometimes I feel like a patient who goes to a physician for healing and then starts telling the physician what to do. This also happens in my spiritual life. I try to tell God what to do! HA! During this Advent which, parenthetically is one of my favorite liturgical seasons, I have been trying to learn to simply let God be God; to try to imagine myself as a child sitting at his feet, like a student in front of his master and just soak in the lessons being taught.

    I have been also pondering on the “silence of Mary”. I often wonder if she knew what she was in for when she said that “fiat!” Yet, she said it with all her heart and full of faith. She “pondered all these things in hear heart.”

    So I suppose my theme for this Advent is simply to allow myself to be led, to allow myself to be simply loved, to abide in my weakness because indeed his grace is sufficient. Years ago, there was a poem called “Desiderata” which stated ” And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should..” In a world that seems to have gone crazy, full of violence, road rage, resentment, school shootings, “false gods”, terrorism… the only way it can actually “unfold as it should” is by keeping in mind “Be still and know that I am God.”

    A blessed and peace-filled Christmas!

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      Author

      Raul, it is so nice to hear from you again! What a beautiful sharing and so meaningful. Thank you so much. It seems your message of sitting at His feet as a child connects with what I am trying to do, also. Letting God be God and taking our place as a CHILD at his feet. I also plan to keep the quote from Andre Louf. Perfectly addresses what I was trying to express earlier. May you have a blessed Christmas, also.

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