2nd Sunday of Advent

Today was busy. A few of the children and I went to pick up supplies to make gifts for each other. I love this time of year when the children are busy with their secrets. Like the Little Martyr said to me tonight, “I love seeing people’s faces when they open what I’ve made for them.”

I’ve missed two days of sitting before the Blessed Sacrament. I hope I can get back in the habit tomorrow.

Today’s gospel reading is from Matthew and is the account of St. John the Baptist preparing the way of the Lord. In it he speaks to the Pharisees saying, “Bear fruit that befits repentance…” (3.8). That made me think. What is the fruit that befits repentance?Not gloominess or seriousness. (“May God protect me from gloomy saints.”– St. Teresa of Avila). Humility. Humility born of the knowledge of my weakness and the knowledge of just how much I am in debt to God. Gratitude for God’s mercy. Patience with myself and others.

God, help these fruits to grow in my soul. Help me to repent and daily turn back to You.

 

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Advent day 7

Whoops. Missed day 6. First Friday, co-op, running 8 miles and a hockey game.

I love the daily mass readings in advent because they are from Isaiah. Prophecy is a beautiful genre, especially if it has been fulfilled and you can read it with understanding. In today’s passage I read, “And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left” (30.21).

Just a week ago, my husband and I were talking to a priest about some vague remarks our Holy Father has made in his pontificate. What a scary thing it is not to have clear direction. This verse brought me great comfort because if I stop to ask and to listen, I’ll hear that word whispering to me, “This is the way.”

My Lord, help me to quiet myself and hear Your voice.

 

Advent day 5

It’s a good thing faith is not based on emotions. It’s a good thing most things in life aren’t (or shouldn’t be) based on emotions. Because I really don’t feel like trying today. I don’t feel like giving of myself. I don’t want to keep going. But it’s not about what I feel, it’s about what I will. And I will to keep trying, to keep giving, to keep going. What we do when the feeling is not there is important.

All the more important is it to “sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth! Sing to the LORD, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!” (Ps. 96.1-3)

 

Advent day 4

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment
In which the Son of God was born
Of the most pure Virgin Mary
At midnight, in Bethlehem, in the piercing cold.
In that hour, vouchsafe, I beseech thee, O my God,
To hear my prayer and grant my desires
Through the merits of Our Savior Jesus Christ
And of His Blessed Mother. Amen.

Today starts the St. Andrew novena, prayed 15 times per day from his feast day of Nov. 30 to Christmas Eve. It’s a novena I try to make every year. Inevitably I miss some days, but I do my best.

My verse from Psalms yesterday spoke of consolations (Ps. 94.19). Today in my spiritual reading (Lead, Kindly Light) I read, “O my God, let me never forget that seasons of consolations are refreshments here and nothing more. They are only intended to prepare us for doing and suffering” (p. 112). With both the bad and the good we can say, “This, too, shall pass.”

I experienced a great consolation today: adoration in my super-liberal parish. With Latin and incense and everything. My God, an answer to a long-standing prayer. My God, prepare me for what you have prepared for me to do or to suffer. Maranatha.

Advent day 3

Oh boy. I’m definitely making time for Our Lord every day, but outside of those times of quiet, it’s like a raging hurricane. Very early mornings are peaceful. My husband and I wake before all the children and have coffee and breakfast together. It’s the calm before the storm. Then the children wake and the storm hits full gale. School, breakfast, mass, outside classes, laundry, cleaning, lunch. After lunch I have a reprieve–a few minutes in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Then it’s off to track practice, swim practice, American Heritage Girls, cub scouts, boy scouts, CCD, dinner. The family rosary is another restful time.

Sometimes I wish there was less, that I was less busy with both home duties and outside activities. But this is my life. These minutiae are building my holiness day by day. I carve out times of rest and repose (be they ever so small) to commune with my Lord. He is the one who gives me the grace and the strength to keep going.

This verse from my daily lectio felt especially appropriate today: “When the cares of my heart are many, thy consolations cheer my soul” (Ps. 94.19).

Come, Lord, I am waiting for You.

Advent Day 2

Or maybe I should just call this series “Life in the Trenches.”

Advent started out with a bang this morning. I came back from a run to find out that Stepford Son had been a referee in what promised to be a full on knock-down, drag-out fistfight between Mini Me and the Youngest. And all over breakfast. Instead of freaking out and yelling, I sat down with all of them and hashed out the incident. After many tears and several apologies from all involved, life settled back down to normal. I thank God for instances like this because this is one of the things I’m called to do–teach my children how to resolve conflicts in a Christ-like manner. Plus, it builds virtue in all of us.

Though it was a busy day, I was still able to have a quiet few minutes in front of the tabernacle.

Maranatha, come Lord Jesus.

 

 

Advent Day 1

It’s advent, my second favorite liturgical season. This year, I’m not going to take on any extra religious practices; I’m going to give extra attention to my current practices and try to do them with greater devotion and attention, though I am going to try to spend at least 10 minutes before the Blessed Sacrament daily. It shouldn’t be difficult since I live about 100 yards from the church. My arrow prayer that I’m shooting up to heaven throughout the day is, “Maranatha, come Lord Jesus.”

In my lectio divina, I’m picking back up in the Psalms, starting with 92.  The verse that resonated with me is “They [the righteous] are planted in the house of the Lord…” (13). I pray, Lord, that You will plant me in Your house. Let me not be uprooted. Let me not wither but grow and bear fruit. I’m waiting for you, my Lord.