Franciscan Moments @ Saint Miriam: November 11, 2019

I am beginning to turn my heart toward Advent. It is almost here again. I know we need to get through Thanksgiving, but as a priest, Advent is where my heart longs to be. I need to sit quietly, see the Sarum Blue, and try and feel God again in my daily life.

You see, with all of the terrible things we see on the news every day; the gun violence, politics gone awry, immigration crisis, drug epidemics, etc. it is extremely easy for us to think the world is on a downward slope. It is so easy to turn on the television, or scroll on our social media platforms, and see so much negativity, that we feel there is simply nothing we can do. Whether it is Christmas or not, the world and all of humanity seem rather doomed. So perhaps now is the best time to stand up and continue spreading Jesus’ message of love. Maybe this is how Christmas will come again? Maybe our voices, joined together, will create a needed chorus of love that will bring about St. Francis’ light to extinguish the darkness of our times?

Yes, Advent is more than our waiting, Advent is God waiting for us to empty ourselves of all that hinders God’s dwelling in us. God needs a place to call home in this world. God needs a heart open to love without demands or expectations. God needs the good, the honest, and the holy in a world that so often knows Him not. God needs us.

The medieval Dominican mystic, Meister Eckhart, captured the meaning of Advent when he wrote, “What good is it to me if this eternal birth of the Divine Son takes place unceasingly, but does not take place within myself? And, what good is it to me if Mary is full of grace and if I am not also full of grace? What good is it to me for the Creator to give birth to his Son, if I do not also give birth to him in my time and my culture? This, then, is the fullness of time: When the Son of God is begotten in us.”

I want Advent. I pray you do, too, but I am also well aware that many of you will not do the same, but rather succumb to the pressures of shopping and gift-giving, Santa and reindeer, and all that makes the season of Christmas so commercialized. But, maybe, just maybe, a few of you will heed my wish and join me this year and honor one of the most beautiful seasons of our Christian year?

May you and I be God’s dwelling place so that Christ may be born anew.


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