Saturday, November 26, 2011
Slowly Prepare And Anticipate
I am returning from my three week blog rest. I took that rest because too many things were going on in my life during that time and blogging was actually becoming stressful. I think I am ready to return and Advent seems like the perfect time to do so. Advent begins a new Liturgical Year, so first off: Happy and Blessed New Year to you all. Those of you who responded to my last post and asked for a patron saint, they are in your e-mail so please be sure to check. If anyone else would like a patron saint for this year, just tell me so in the comments and I will be happy to prayerfully choose one for you. (The saints really do the choosing.) So business being taken care of, here are my thoughts on this blessed season...
I love Christmas, but I love the fact that God, through His Church, has given us this four week season to prepare and anticipate Jesus' coming both at the end of time and at Christmas. It forces us to slow down. If you watch TV for even 15 minutes you will see the world just wants to jump right to Christmas and it is not because they are in a rush to celebrate Our Savior's birthday!
I don't like to rush with decorations either; the only thing out in my home right now is my Advent wreath. The rest will come out gradually during the third and fourth weeks of this beautiful and sacred season.
More important than preparing my home, is preparing my soul to receive Jesus at Christmas. I always make it a point to go to confession early in the season. This year my parish is especially blessed to have the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal come and give a parish mission December 8-10. I am waiting to go to confession with one of the friars. The primary reason for their coming is that December 8th of this year is the 15th anniversary of our parish's Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration chapel. If you are anywhere in the vicinity of St. John the Apostle Church, Clark/Linden, New Jersey, please join us for the mission.
Advent reading is also part of my preparations. I am not sure what I will use yet, but I will let God lead me in that area. I have a book of Advent essays and In Conversation With God by Fr. Francis Fernandez on my shelf so I may use one or both of those.
Let us take these four weeks to slow down, and spend some time with the God who came to save us because Jesus is Emmanuel~God with us.
May you all have a blessed and fruitful Advent.
*Note: Up in my stand alone pages you will find a link for Advent Reflections. I wrote these last year during the Advent season and thought I would put them up again for this season.
Psalm 45: Canticle of Love to the King
My heart overflows with a good theme;
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
You are fairer than the sons of men;
Grace is poured upon Your lips;
Therefore God has blessed You forever.
Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One,
In Your splendor and Your majesty!
And in Your majesty ride on victoriously,
For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
Let Your right hand teach You awesome things.
Your arrows are sharp;
The peoples fall under You;
Your arrows are in the heart of the King’s enemies.
Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of joy above Your fellows.
All Your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad.
Kings’ daughters are among Your noble ladies;
At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.