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Advent is coming to a close, yet we must always be ‘Advent Christians’ some reflections for the 4th week by Fr.Kevin Walsh

18 Dec

Beginning Advent………………………………

What does it mean that we do this again?

Four weeks, four candles, ‘the people who walk in darkness” Looking for light?

What does it mean that we do this again-

We who rush through everything who sometimes hardly notice where we are.

Having to slow ourselves enough to light one candle at a time and to understand what it is for?

What does it mean that we do this again-

Proclaiming yet once more the One whose birth we’ve

Announced every year

As long as we can remember?

Are we such creatures of habit that we’ll keep a festival?

For no good reason?

Or can it possibly be that He keeps being born?

Probably so.  Most assuredly so.

Otherwise the “again” would have no power for us.

But in our one candle hearts our ever-waiting-for-the-Christ candle hearts,

We somehow know that all the power is in the “again”.

The Word becomes flesh….and the people who walk in darkness rejoice again.

Dear One and All, on the Second Sunday of Advent, we prayed in the opening Collect at Mass, ‘that nothing may hinder us from receiving Christ with joy’. Here in Australia, and I suppose overseas as well, there are just so many barriers constantly in front of us, which can hinder us from enetering into the ‘Spirituality of Advent’. This Spirituality is not found in shop windows like David Jones, Myer and Mark’s and Spencer. Advent is about the preparation which we are called to do by God’s Word in this Season, by way of the inner preparation we need to do in our Christian lives.  Below I have composed a number of Meditations which might help us in that kind of Spiritual preparation for Christ’s Birth. What will this exercise cost us? Allot! Firstly, our sense that we need to do it. Secondly, setting about doing it. Thirdly, keeping our mind on the task, and not being tempted to run off into the Kitchen to make one of Fr.Kev’s Frozen Christmas Puddings…..  🙂

Good luck and let’s give this a go!!!

In Christ’s love,

Fr.Kev

PAUSE FOR REFLECTION:

True Holiness is not measured by the time spent on our knees, but by the quality of our lives. In responding to ‘the sacred’ in daily life, how do we show reverence towards the members of our family whom we make take for granted? How does ‘reverence’ show itself in our attitudes to the marginalised or those suffering a disability in our Society and world?

PAUSE FOR REFLECTION:

For God, the impossible becomes possible; the tiny mustard seed needs nutrition and light to grow into a huge tree! How do you respond, and what do you need to do in promoting the growth of God’s Kingdom in you? In other people?

PAUSE FOR REFLECTION:

If we were to win Lotto, we would be just so excited; in the Gospel, there is great excitement when someone gets ‘touched’ by God’s Kingdom. Do you get excited when you see, and know that the Lord is with you? Have there been ‘special’ times when you have felt the Lord’s nearness to you? What has that experience done to your faith-life?

PAUSE FOR REFLECTION:

God’s Kingdom is for everyone, and we are all invited to be in it. What happens in you when you see ‘evil’ sometimes taking an upper hand in our world? What does God’s Word say to you in those times? What was Our Lord’s response to the seeming triumph of evil?

PAUSE FOR REFLECTION:

Grace sometimes comes in the form of inner gifts, which assist and shape our personal Holiness. Grace is then contagious; other people can be uplifted, inspired and see ‘Hope’ at work. Can you pin point some of the Graces which you have received? How have you seen ‘Grace’ at work in other people? If so, what was it like?

PAUSE FOR REFLECTION:

We are all called to be Saints! The Apostle Paul often addressed his letters to the Saints in Rome or Corinth. You are called to Sanctity, to Holiness; how can you develop your Holiness, what are some of the things that you need to do to achieve that goal? What are some of the so called ‘speed humps’ in your life which hinder you from Holiness, and how can you best deal with the things that can hamper you personal spiritual growth?

PAUSE FOR REFLECTION:

Seeking help from someone else can be a challenge; we sometimes feel that we can go it alone; when did you last ask God for help? The Prayer of Intercession runs like a silver thread throughout the Scriptures, we are encouraged to not give up, how does that sit with you?

PAUSE FOR REFLECTION:

Jesus often went to quiet places to talk and listen in prayer to His Father; when do you feel the need to pray? God has given you many special gifts; reflecting on these gifts and how you can develop them is very important. Spend some quality time reflecting on one of these gifts and how you can develop it.

PAUSE FOR REFLECTION

Grace and Peace are like twins, they go hand in hand; they are often the fruits of being forgiven. Can you remember a recent time when you sought forgiveness, and hence received Grace and Peace? Have you been the Lord’s instrument of Grace and Peace for others? When? Now, in prayer, kindly give thanks to God for such quality moments.

PAUSE FOR REFLECTION

The Lord is as close to you as the person near you right now, or today at work, in the Train or on the Bus. Have you been inspired or moved by the Holiness of another person at a time, and place which completely surprised you? What did that experience do for your faith life? How have those graced moments encouraged you in your Christian awareness of Mission?

PAUSE FOR REFLECTION:

Poverty of spirit is a hunger and thirst for seeking the face of God. A foundational element for the right disposition in this search is humility, that is, a healthy awareness of our unworthiness. Why not spend a few moments reflecting on what it means to search for God, the meaning of humility for me, and an awareness of unworthiness. Kindly make an act of Faith right now to God.

PAUSE FOR REFLECTION:

Putting our Car in for Service never happens at the right time, yet without regular service our Car will be heading for engine problems. When do you feel the need for personal ‘in service’ in your spiritual life. Are you a Good News person to yourself? To others? How do you spread happiness and peace, the products of Holiness in your daily life?

PAUSE FOR REFLECTION:

The Mission entrusted to us as Christians by the Lord, is to bring Heaven to Earth. In the same prayer, we pray to ‘forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us’. How do you bring Heaven and all it means to Earth, and does forgiveness come easy to you? Spend some quality time thinking deeply about those questions….you will be rewarded by the Lord!

PAUSE FOR REFLECTION

All of us at some time have felt the nearness of God. When was the last time that happened for you? Re-visit the experience and let a spontaneous prayer of thanks rise to God. An Angel in human form can be you! During the coming week, try and be conscious of moments when you can respond to someone who is struggling; take time to truly listen with the heart to someone. Then offer that person to God in prayer.

PAUSE FOR REFLECTION

The great commandment is to love God, and our neighbour like ourselves; see if you can be alert to the quiet and gentle invitations to put that commandment into action today.

PAUSE FOR REFLECTION

Jesus found it very hard at times to respond to the grace offered to Him by His Father. The Agony in the Garden reminds us of that. Can you focus in on some of the times when it has been hard for you to respond to God’s Grace? What are some of the challenges for you in responding to God? Quietly pray to the Lord for the grace to meet some of those challenges.

PAUSE FOR REFLECTION:

When Jesus calls us to follow him there are no ‘ifs’ or ‘buts’ it has to be wholehearted! It can be a real challenge for us; in following Jesus, the Way, the Truth and the Life, what are some of the things that have stood or stand in your way in making that commitment?

PAUSE FOR REFLECTION:

In Baptism and Confirmation, we have been freely given ‘new life’ through the Holy Spirit. The sevenfold gifts are given as seeds; what are some of those Gifts and how do you use them. When have you seen those gifts ‘at work’ in other people? Offer a prayer of thanksgiving for the people that you can remember who have been bearers of these gifts.

PAUSE FOR REFLECTION

Psalm 50 begins with the words….’ Have mercy on me O God; in your great compassion blot out my offence…this is one of the great Act of Contrition’s in the Scriptures. How often do you review your life? When do you feel the time to let a contrite heart blossom within you? Reflecting on how we miss the mark with God is often manifested in our relationships with other people. Spend some time placing your neediness and the seeking of forgiveness before God. Contrition opens the way to Grace.

PAUSE FOR REFLECTION

Do you rejoice in the giftedness within other people? Are the times when something is holds you back from rejoicing in other people’s gifts? This can happen to all of us, you are not alone. If that may sometimes be the case, think about and ask God in prayer every day for the graces to be more accepting, loving and open to and supporting the gifts in other people; let’s start with our family.

 

 

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Posted by on December 18, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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