LETTER= Our Lady of the Angels Regional Spiritual Assistant
Our Lady of the Angels Regional Spiritual AssistantDecember, 2010
Dear Sisters and Brothers in St. Francis,
During this Season of Advent, as the Church begins her new year, I wish you blessings as you prepare for the Saviour’s birth. May your hearts be filled with the light, joy and desire of His coming.
The challenge during this Advent waiting time is that we are to become more Christ-like preparing ourselves like our Blessed Lady, Joseph and Francis did for the coming of the Christ child into our world. It may be a question of preparing ourselves, starting with the secular and working towards the spiritual. First of all, turn off the TV and turn off the radio. Allow some silence to enter into your homes and into your hearts. Let Advent be Advent and celebrate Christmas during Christmas. Simplify the way you celebrate Christmas and prepare it that way so that you do not have to spend hours and days in malls and department stores in the midst of the chaos and crowds, but prepare spiritually for Christmas. Imagine the amount of time you would spend in prayer if you did not watch TV and listen to the radio and go shopping as much.
The instruction of the Church is to make this a holy season of penance and preparation. It is to have a subdued attitude during this time, because if our Lord were to come into the world today with all its chaos, the same thing that happened two thousand years ago would happen again. We would miss Him. We would not be prepared and we wold not recognize Him. But if we are taking time to pray, if we are frequenting the Sacraments, if we are trying to develop spiritual life and grow in virtue, then our hearts are to be focused on Christ — not on gifts, not on the lights on the house or front yard, not on party time. Our focus will be on Jesus, the real Light. So as we begin the New Year keep your heart fixed on Him so that when he speaks you will hear Him. And you will be prepared in the most perfect way by a heart filled with love to receive the true coming of Jesus Christ at Christmas.
May the quiet peace and gentle love of the first Christmas be yours this holy Season with God’s endless blessings in the New Year.
Friar Louis Geelan, O.F.M.
Questions for personal reflection and group discussion:
1. In what ways can I celebrate and welcome God’s loving presence and gifts in my life?
2. How does Advent draw me closer to the presence and light of the Lord?
May the real meaning of this holy season, the birth of God’s Son, bring joy to your Christmas and illuminate the coming year.
Paix et joie,
OFS - Ordre Franciscain Séculier (Sher)
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