Franciscan Moments

Our Weekly Devotional from

Saint Miriam!

Franciscan Moments @ Saint Miriam: February 6, 2017


The Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration promised fidelity to Christ through their adoration of the Blessed Sacrament by a ritual of lighting of a fire in a small humble dish made of pottery containing lard and a piece of tissue for a wick. It was all they had; all they could afford. They have adoring their Christ in perpetual adoration ever since. That was 1865. Mother Karen, who leads the Order now, stated that even today, after all these years of adoration, the hearts of these sisters still burn with zeal to fulfill that promise made so long ago. And they do.

The fire of God’s love and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is most evidenced by St. Francis’ own constant adoration when he prayed, “We adore You, Lord Jesus Christ, in all Your churches throughout the world, and we bless You, because by Your holy cross You have redeemed the world!”

St. Clare, too, followed closely this adoration and the desire with oneness with the Sacrament of the Eucharist. The Poor Ladies nurtured the commoners and nobility alike to discover the fullness of life by basking in the light of the Living God made present in Adoration!

Saint Miriam is making a strong push toward Adoration of late and a new brochure entitled, “Join us in Adoration of Our Lord at Saint Miriam!”, explaining the process, privileges, and expectations will soon be ready! We offer adoration every Thursday from 5:00pm – 6:00pm and twice annually we provide a 40-Hour Devotion as well as a Lenten Refection in Adoration. All of this is done to provide a means to honor Christ and to deepen our faith as we gaze, consider, contemplate, and imitate. We will look at these areas of adoration and prayer over the coming weeks together as we ponder the glorious God that is so close, and yet so often ignored.

When you depart from a time of prayer with the Lord in Adoration, and you go your own way, look for continuing ways to surrender to the flame of God’s love and serve Him in the world. See Christ in the beggar on the street near your work, play catch with your son, enjoy playtime tea with your daughter and dress the part, just sit with an old friend, care for a grieving mother, allow yourself to encounter the street person, or those at-risk. Each opportunity invites you to let go of your own control and be drawn into the fire of Divine love. Each encounter may change a life by your presence!

How will you allow yourself to love more deeply and encounter God in the world this week?

Franciscan Moments @ Saint Miriam: January 30, 2017


“You cannot be a Christian without living like a Christian,” he said. “You cannot be a Christian without practicing the Beatitudes. You cannot be a Christian without doing what Jesus teaches us in Matthew 25.” This is a reference to Christ’s injunction to help the needy by such works of mercy as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked and welcoming the stranger. It’s hypocrisy to call yourself a Christian and chase away a refugee or someone seeking help, someone who is hungry or thirsty, toss out someone who is in need of my help,” he said. “If I say I am Christian, but do these things, I’m a hypocrite.”

No, they are not my words, but rather of the Holy Father, but could have just as easily been takin from my homily delivered this past Sunday at Saint Miriam. We stand with refugees and immigrants. It is that simple because we are Christians and Catholics and we believe in a living God named Jesus.

Yesterday, after my homily was posted, a parishioner removed his support of my salary fund. That’s right, he decided to immediately remove food from my table because of my words of support to the immigrant and condemnation of the executive order that may well have sent Syrian refugee families to their death. He emailed me and said that I had no right to speak the way I did and that he disagreed with letting immigrants take food from his table. So, he took from mine in protest. It is his right.

So, to him, and to anyone else who would like to condemn me, I ask you this question: what kind of priest would I have been if I stood in the pulpit of our parish and condemned other to die at the hands of their oppressors? What would you of thought of me if I stood up for the administration and waved a flag and cursed the refugee? Had I done so, I would barely be able to call myself a Christian, let alone a priest.

The greatest reformers brought change by following the gospels. They knew the words of God and followed them, despite even harm to self. In putting ourselves at the service of the neediest first, we follow the greatest of commandments and honor Christ in the world. I am willing to lose my pulpit, the church, and even my life, too, if needed, but I will not stop defending the rights of those in harm’s way. I will do what we always have done at Saint Miriam and fling open wide the doors to others in need and give sanctuary and refuge.

St. Francis believed that the power of the Holy Spirit is continuously at work in the world through the people of God who suffer persecution and oppression. The body of Christ – the Church – bears living witness to all people of the Resurrection when it lives its own Passion. The radical transformation of the world that is needed will come only through the efforts of people – like you and me – who lessen violence, reduce injustice, stand for the rights of the unfree, and advance peace and the eradication of hatred, in all its varied and human forms, to bring about brotherhood, fraternity, love, freedom, and peace.

I will stand for firmly justice. I am willing to lay down whatever cost. How will you help today?

Franciscan Moments @ Saint Miriam: January 23, 2017


I’m sick. I am not just a little sick, but a lot sick. In fact, yesterday, I was so sick that my family doctor paid me a house call. I am weak, lethargic, sore, have the chills, shaking, headaches, my breathing is labored and difficult, lungs are filled with phlegm, and I can’t eat well. Yes, whatever I got, I got it good and the number of meds I am on proves I need lots of support.

Ironically, last Friday I was at my normal CrossFit session in Manayunk. I could complete the workout of the day, throw hundreds of pounds around, lift myself literally hundreds of times up to a bar, and turn around and throw a twenty-pound ball against a target followed by a hundred more pushups. By early Saturday, I could barely get out of bed.

There is a lesson here. You see, last week I was strong and sure, but by Saturday I was weak and alone. Last week, I was determined and steadfast that I could lead, and do, and be whatever I wanted, but by Saturday I was broken, weakened, and unable to even lift my head from my pillow. Last week, it was my power, and my strength, and my will, but by Saturday it was all about God, and prayer, and begging for some support and relief. It was about my needed reliance on others for support. How quickly we, as powerful a creature as we are, can be let down by our own bodies, but never by God.

The Son of God entered our human condition to be one with us. He knew what misery resulted from our sin because He lived within our human nature to overcome it for us. But the human Christ did this knowing full well the power only came fully from His Father and His Father’s love and that was more powerful than any illness, any force, any evil. He placed Himself totally in His Father’s hands and He brought healing and peace to the world.

Today, in the midst of the turmoil around elections, and presidents, and power, and world might, I am weak and now remember where the true power of the world dwells.

I am safe, and I am well, no matter what happens with my illness.

Franciscan Moments @ Saint Miriam: January 16, 2017


Our nation is divided. It is that simple, and yet that complex. There is fear. Fear about the future. About healthcare. About human rights. About what will come. Change always brings anxiety. God always brings hope.

When I was just out of college less than a year, I took a job in Cleveland, Ohio. I lived in center city in a converted factory loft called The Hat Factory. I loved living in the city! Just next door to my building was a very popular bar that served primarily the local gay population. While local business men and women would often stop for ‘happy hour’ after work, it was primarily a gay bar in the later evening.

Now, I was not one to ever go out late, and never have been one for the ‘bar scene’, but I often was alone in my new city and needed companionship. I loved to chat with others and so I would slip into this bar every now and again and talk to the patrons, and I made some really good friends. One was the ‘Bar-back’ who worked there almost every evening, his name was Joey.  Joey and I became really close and we laughed a lot and shared lots of stories. Many thought Joey and I would end up dating because we shared so much in life! One night, Joey closed the bar for the head bartender who needed to go to a late-night function. As he was taking the last bag of trash to the dumpster out behind the bar, he was jumped by unknown assailants and beaten as they were overhead by locals who called police calling out, “Kill all faggots! You faggot! Die!”  They beat Joey so badly that he died on the scene. Joey was only 29.

The most shocking thing of this story is that Joey worked at a ‘gay bar’, and he was best friends with someone who identified as gay, but Joey wasn’t gay himself. In fact, Joey was working this Bar-back job as a third job to save up enough money to buy an engagement ring for his girlfriend, Jenny, who was also a friend to me. Joey was not gay; Joey was killed because someone assumed he was gay and therefore not worthy of life.

The words “Fear not, I am with you,” never meant so much to me. Of course, back then, I was young and filled with enthusiasm, but then came fear. Growing up in Erie, a middle-class town in a middle-class area of Pennsylvania, I never experienced that much hostility when I came out as being gay. Oh sure, there were the few slights and the loss of a few friends who simply did not want to be near me any longer, but not this. Not death. Not such vile hatred. This was like a firebomb was thrown while I was there, but no damage was done to me; at least not that anyone could see. But, there was, deep damage done and that damage turned me into a priest and a Franciscan. How?  Because I learned that all life is precious. All people are precious. All the created of this earth deserve the respect of all other created and that separation is wrong and hatred is abhorrent to the God I serve. I decided to work for justice and to serve that God. I returned to seminary and formation and I have done so ever since.

Repeatedly, since that day I held Joey one last time in my arms, and told him how much his life meant to me, I have reflected on those words: Fear not, I am with you. Over and over again, I have called out to God to save; not me, but the world around me.

The three years I spent in Cleveland formed me in ways I could never have imagined. The greatest lesson was that God is with me wherever I am. God is incarnate in the person of Jesus – and in the many persons who walked with me in that journey, including Joey. So, I am not afraid of the change that will come. I am not afraid of any one person who occupies the highest office of our land. We are bigger that than one office, one person, one ideal, one President. We  are a people of God, and God comes to us – even in our darkest moments – and reminds us, “Fear not, I am with you.”

Where was God when Joey was murdered in hatred?  Standing with Joey, taking each blow, too. Falling with Joey when their bodies could take no more. Holding Joey tightly until his last breath came, and then, God took Joey by the hand and said, follow me, son, Fear not, I am with you.


Franciscan Moments @ Saint Miriam: January 9, 2017

Frank Loesser, back in 1944, could not have written a more apropos title for today than his infamous, “Baby, it’s Cold Outside”! Real cold!  I woke today to find that the we are below 8 degrees with a “real feel” temperature of 4 degrees! 
So, what happens when we get cold? The human body is a marvelous thing and has several defense mechanisms to try and boost our core temperature when it gets chilly. Our muscles shiver and teeth chatter. Our hairs rise and our flesh forms ‘goosebumps’, a kind of evolutionary echo from the times when our ancestors were covered in fur. The hypothalamus, the gland in the brain that acts as your body’s thermostat, stimulates these reactions to keep the body’s vital organs warm, at least until it can find warmth and shelter. The hypothalamus’s mission is to keep the core warm at all costs – yes, even sacrificing the extremities if need be. That’s why we feel pins and needles in our fingers and toes in extreme cold, especially if bare skin is open to the winter’s abrasive elements, which then can end in frostbite. Blood flow is reduced, and the lack of warm blood can lead to tissue freezing and rupturing. Our body’s main mission at this point is to keep us warm at all costs, and it will sacrifice whatever it needs to in order to accomplish this vital task by preserving the warm blood close to the center, even constricting blood supply in the outer regions such as the end of our own limbs. I wonder…when was the las time we put God so close to our center and would do anything to keep Him as the most vital mission of our lives?
Ever since the Holy Father, a Jesuit with the heart of our Seraphic Father, Pope Francis, took on the name of the Poverello, “Poor Little Man”, our Francis from Assisi, there has been a resurgence in all things Francis! But, do we actually know – deep within our heart – this requires more of us than just trite sayings to make us Franciscans? Do we recognize that we must inherit within our hearts the themes of compassion for the poor, the radical welcome of the outcast, the humility of self, and giving away willingly and joyfully of possessions –  those things that bind us to earth – in order to further God’s Kingdom, the preaching of peace and justice for all humanity, the care of all living creatures, the central theme of simplicity of lifestyle to allow more room for God? As in hypothermia with the human body, there can be only one mission.
Do we practice these themes, often lost on the world, to effectuate a change that can only come with sacrifice of self in joy for the betterment of those we are called to serve?

Franciscan Moments @ Saint Miriam: January 2, 2017


Yesterday in our parish, our wonderful Director of Music, Charles Masters, created a montage of music to remember from 2016 from iconic artists that we lost from this life to God Himself. (You can hear parts at our Facebook page). It was so moving that everyone that filled our Sanctuary on New Year’s Day, for the Solemnity of the Blessed Mother, were simply mesmerized; not a soul moved about, not a person stirred, except within their own heart. It was a wonderful tribute for a brand-new year and it reminded us that, just like music, not a single note – nor single loved soul – is ever lost, as we remember them within our souls.

Our tribute yesterday gave new meaning to the famous song, “Auld Lang Syne”, “for auld lang syne” essentially boils down to “for the sake of old times”. It’s a work that essentially calls for the preservation of our oldest, dearest friendships; perhaps observed in the reflective quality of a new year itself. A time when people come together to recall past joys and sorrows, specifically those spent in each other’s company. Yes, we remember because we are human. We love because God first loved us.

Song, music, and poetry are a moving part of our lives together, and, too were deeply a part of the nature of St. Francis. He loved them so deeply that in times of sorrow and sickness, as well as of joy and good health, Francis spontaneously gave voice in song to his feelings, his inspirations, and his prayers. The clearest expression of this aspect of the personality of the famous ‘Poor man of Assisi’ is, The Canticle of Brother Sun (originally named ‘Canticle of the Creatures’). Artist Mark Haas does an admirable rendition here. I thought of this hymn in the middle of the night last evening, and it reminded me of where we are today; at the start of a brand-new year! 
In “The Canticle of the Brother Sun,” St. Francis praises God for some of the wonders of the material world. Francis believed that everything in our natural world was a gift from God and, as such, deserved to be appreciated, praised, and valued. G. K. Chesterton, in his reflections on St. Francis once wrote of this music: “It is a supremely characteristic work and much of Saint Francis could be reconstructed from that work alone. “ And Friar Eloi Leclercq, O.F.M., wrote, “The manner in which Francis here looks at the created world is a key to his inner self, for the Canticle [of Brother Sun] undoubtedly has elements that reveal in a special way the personality of its author. “

This magnificent hymn expresses the mystical vision of the St. Francis and, since it springs from the depths of his soul, provides us with many insights into the depth of his life of faith in the Triune God, Who, so deeply enters creation itself; one inseparable from the other. In this vision, played out through the hymn, Francis does not lose himself in space, or in the vastness of the created world. Rather, he becomes so intimate and familiar with the wonders of creation that he embraces them as “Brother” and “Sister,” as members of one family! More than any other aspect of the Canticle, this unique feature has enhanced the spiritual tradition of our shared Christian spirituality. 

As one page of our calendar has now almost imperceptibly flipped into another and thereby caused the birth of a brand new year, tethered to our hopes and dreams of a fonder tomorrow; and as we remember, too, those lost to time, but never to God, it is a good time to also reflect on ourselves and how we view God in the world and within our very lives.

How close is God to you? How much do you rely on God and His divine providence? Do you offer God enough praise and honor, do you give enough to help those who dedicate their lives to God’s service and people? Or, will 2017 be the year you finally realize your life is empty without God in its midst…

And surely you’ll buy your pint cup!

and surely I’ll buy mine!

And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,

for auld lang syne.


Franciscan Moments @ Saint Miriam: December 26, 2016

Jesus is the Word made flesh. He is God made visible. He has come to dwell among us. God adapted Himself to be one with us, save sin. Emmanuel. “God with us”. By His coming, as He did, Jesus became something we, as humans, could handle; literally ‘handle’, as St. John said so aptly. If Jesus spoke, you heard Him. If Jesus touched you, you felt Him. If Jesus forgave you, God forgave you and you knew it. The Coming did not end on the 25th of December. It remains; it always has… 
St. Francis observed the Nativity with the greatest of emotion and eagerness. The day when ‘God was made a little child and hung on the human breast.’ He affirmed it as the Feast of all Feasts; this day when he himself created the crèche that adorns so many altars around the world. But Francis never once could recall the great want of the world that surrounded the Virgin and the little, poor Child, on that fateful night when God deigned to come to us in that manger, and his rendition was always equated with its deepest meaning; not the superficiality with which the world so often sees it today, but with a devotion that imagined a world in need and Christ as the One that would fill that void in ways still yet unknown to us as humans. 
So, yes! Yesterday, the holy Church of God gathered around the globe to welcome in the Christ Child! Then, the sanctuaries emptied and people went forth, bursting with the love of God again to renew the face of the earth! Or did they? Once out in the parking lots and in the homes of friends and relatives, did they remember the mission just given them, found so fittingly – and so personally – within the Dismissal of the Mass? “Ite Missa est,”  That is, “Go forth, the Mass is ended, go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life!”
The most succinct explanation of this phrase, comes from the “Catechism of the Catholic Church,”: “The liturgy in which the mystery of salvation is accomplished concludes with the sending forth (the mission) of the faithful, so that they may fulfill God’s will in their daily lives”. And the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy of the Church reminds us that it is the essence of the Church that ‘she be both human and divine, visible and yet invisibly endowed, eager to act and yet devoted to contemplation, present in this world and yet now at home in it.’
Today would be the Second day of the Octave of Christmas. As Christmas is a Solemnity, the highest ranking of all feast days, it is not celebrated for just 24 hours; it is given the honor of eight days (octave) of celebration which is a custom that traces its roots to Old Testament feasts! So, then our season, and our work, is not concluded yet. Ordinary Time doesn’t officially begin until the Monday after the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, which falls on the Sunday after Epiphany.  This means that the Christmas season actually extends beyond the popular “Twelve Days of Christmas.” And so does our work as a church – and a People – of God.
How will you continue to bring the Christ Child to a world that thinks Christmas is already over?

Franciscan Moments @ Saint Miriam: December 19, 2016


Someone to love. Someone to care for. Someone to let you know that life is good, even when it’s not so good. That is why we love and why we need one another and community, too.
I am sure that is what filled the heart and mind of Francis that year back in 1223 when he sat alone and pondered at Greccio how to welcome in the infant Christ. Francis wanted to honor the birth of his Savior in a brand new way. So, he brought a real live ox, an ass, and some hay to his altar that they, too, along with those workers of the vineyards and the town’s inhabitants, could share in the rebirth of Christ in the bread and wine of the Christmas Eucharist. It gripped Francis’ heart that this is why God came in the form of an infant, for it gave to the world someone to care for; to love. Flesh of our flesh, bone of our bone, now one with us to love and care for – a child we could approach without fear. This was Christmas to St. Francis.

I thought of this story about St. Francis as we ‘greened’ the parish yesterday afternoon. The few who managed to remain to help decorate after the long day of Masses, followed by a Nativity Play and fellowship, and a visit from St. Nicholas, too, were some of the closest we have at Saint Miriam. These few – some who have been with us from the first Mass some almost nine years ago now – are the heart of the parish. The atmosphere was both one of being exhausted and yet exhilarated simultaneously! But it wasn’t the Christmas music playing, or the carols being sung, nor was it the cookies and egg nog on the table, or the lights we strung carefully on the trees around the crèche, created by Francis himself to honor Christ’s birth. No, it was something else, it was Christmas!

Christmas is always about someone to love. At Greccio, Francis prayed for the lonely people of the world, he prayed for those who did not believe in the God’s enfleshment on earth. God was like us now, save sin. God let Himself be touched and handled and loved and yes, even hated and rejected, so that the world could change and so that we could be saved.

In the smallest and most innocuous events that occur, especially this time of year, like the greening of a simple church, or handing over hundreds of gifts for trees that would otherwise remain bare at homes you will never enter, or even pass in your lifetime…these are the events where God comes and enable us to bear the crosses of our own lives. Why? Because He came and bore ours, so that we might one day see.

Our own Nativity scenes which rest under our Christmas trees are a visible reminder of that night when our Savior was born. May we never forget to see in our hearts the little baby in Bethlehem, who came to save us from our own sin. We must never forget that the wood of the manger that held Him so securely that night would one day give way to the wood of the cross that holds securely now. May we too embrace Him with all of our love, just as did St. Francis at a time that now seems so long ago, and yet so close…

How will you encourage Christmas to come to someone this week who is in need, lost, hurting or alone. How will you be Christ enfleshed to someone else?

Franciscan Moments @ Saint Miriam: December 12, 2016


Mary is the Theotokos. The Theotokos is a Greek title consisting of two words: Theos meaning “God” and tokos meaning “bearer” or “birther.” As Catholics, we rightfully defend the teaching that Mary birthed the whole Person of Christ. Since Christ is a divine person, she birthed God Himself! Hence, she is rightly called Theotokos or “God-bearer”; in Latin, Dei Genitrix!

Think of the miracle…from the moment of the Angel’s announcement He grew in silence – in secret – within her womb. Advent is the season of such a great secret, the secret of the growth of Christ, of Divine Love growing in silence. It is a season of humility, silence, and growth. In a world that seeks more titles, more recognition, more fame, and ever more power, this central attribute is often lost, even among our church leadership. But here it is, deeply engrained and needed: Christ came in humility to save the world, even those who would rather seek lofty titles and positions that are hallow and fleeting, rather than spend their time serving the poor and doing to the true work of the Gospel.
So, then the holy Season of Advent is a time of reflection; a time to ponder this mystery of our Christ growing in the womb of Mary. Author Caryll Houselander in her a beautiful book called, The Reed of God, shares, “Like the wheat seed in the earth, the seed of the Bread of Life was in her. Like the golden harvest in the darkness of the earth, the Glory of God was shrined in her darkness.” Yes, Advent is a time of great anticipation and active waiting, waiting to meet her Son. It is a season that we will never experience in the same way again and demands that we pause and recognize the error of our own ways and seek what is truly important.
I wonder, as we ponder, reflect, and pray, on the mystery of the Theotokos, if we also recognize that Christ is secretly growing in us and living in us? Do we even perceive that we are Christ-bearers, too? This is a mystery that we need to allow to unfold in us, just as Christ unfolded in Mary. Jesus grows in us now, and that heightens our need and demands us to become better people.
In last week’s Gospel from Matthew, when John the Baptist shouted, “You brood of vipers!” He was speaking to the powers of the then known ‘church’; those false prophets who sought power, rather than caring for the flock; who wanted lofty and powerful titles, rather than doing the work of God in the world; who poked sticks at others, rather than looking at their own wounds and sinful lives recognizing that they were the most broken among them. Our times have not changed very much; it is up to us not to follow false prophets, but to declare that speciousness and keep ‘our eye on the ball’…to follow the Christ who is growing within us to change tomorrow…
Waiting is one of the chief ways God changes us. Now, it isn’t necessarily the waiting itself, but who we become while we wait that is important. Mary willingly gave herself over and birthed one single Divine Person, the Second Person of the Trinity. She didn’t birth half of Him, part of Him, or only His nature. She is truly the Mother of God the Son. 
How will you allow God to use you this season? This year? Will you willingly give yourself over to God and allow His will be one? Do you recognize the error of your ways and are you willing to change?  
Mary answered the angel of the Lord, “May your word to me be fulfilled.”  Jesus, may our hearts be rich soil for you and Mother Mary intercede for us that like you we may carry Christ into the world. 

Franciscan Moments @ Saint Miriam: December 5, 2016


In this winter season, the earth seems to be dying. The trees have lost their bounty; the grass has withered and brought the landscaper’s mowers to a standstill. The beauty of colored flowers have given way to the emergence of the only things that stand to retain their hue: the evergreen. The wind has increased from its more northerly direction and frost appears daily. Even the sunlight is less, the darkness more and the nights seem longer, deeper, darker, and sometimes more foreboding. In just a few days, we will come to the Winter Solstice, the longest day of the year, with the year’s least amount of daylight. Symbols not to be lost or overlooked. It is during this time of year; this very specific time of year that God has deemed to grant us the opportunity of Advent.

I say opportunity because it is more than just a liturgical season. It is a time to be challenged as a world, as a people, as Christians, and as practicing Catholics, but more importantly, inside ourselves where God dwells and where the tensions of the world seem to be at their height; their strongest. We are called to pause and reflect on what needs to be changed in the world and within ourselves. What is broken, damaged, in need of repair and Who do we want to help effectuate those repairs? You can’t repent and accept the forgiveness and grace of God without first acknowledging that that there is something wrong that needs to be forgiven – something broken – in all of us that needs to be healed.
We are in the midst of Advent in our holy Church at this time of year and the poems and readings we find appointed for very Mass are intentionally longer in order to provide a way for us to reflect as a community on the Word of God that speaks to us of the end times and for the need to prepare and change. I urge you to pause and reflect with me as we ponder the awesomeness of a God who loved us so much that he deigned to allow His only begotten Son to come to us; not in power or the majesty of a throne…but rather a borrowed manger, wrapped in clothing given by strangers in their hospitality and surrounded by the poorest of the poor to teach us a lesson: at our weakest, we are most strong…
Advent is our season with a strong and demanding call for conversion, a fresh turning (returning? ) to God. Let us not be intoxicated by society’s commercial attractions of this holy season. Rather, read, pray, hope, and reflect upon these readings and poems with your heart’s eye so you can see Christ however He comes, and may change bring a renewed satisfaction and happiness. 
How have you prepared for the Lord’s coming? In what ways have I prepared for the end of my world when I am called? What are some of the ways I can prepare to meet the Lord at crib and still recognize the Lord of the cross with a good conscience?