Third Week of Advent
Christmas Thoughts – Anonymous
“It’s sharing your gifts, not purchasing gifts;
It’s not wrapping presents, its being present
and wrapping your arms around the ones you love;
It’s not getting Christmas cards out on time,
It’s sending any card, anytime, at the right time;
It’s not having the biggest and best Christmas light display,
It’s displaying the Christ light that comes from your heart;
It’s not Santa coming down the chimney,
It’s Jesus coming down from heaven,
and giving us the gift of eternal life.”
Second Week of Advent
Life Is an Advent Season – CONNECTIONS, 11-28-93
“Life is a constant Advent season: we are continually waiting to become, to discover, to complete, to fulfill. Hope, struggle, fear, expectation and fulfillment are all part of our Advent experience.
“The world is not as just, not as loving, not as whole as we know it can and should be. But the coming of Christ and his presence among us—as one of us—give us reason to live in hope: that light will shatter the darkness, that we can be liberated from our fears and prejudices, that we are never alone or abandoned.
“May this Advent season be a time for bringing hope, transformation and fulfillment into the Advent of our lives.”
First Week of Advent
Take Time to be Aware
Edward Hays, A Pilgrim’s Almanac, p. 196
“Take time to be aware that in the very midst of our busy preparations for the celebration of Christ’s birth in ancient Bethlehem, Christ is reborn in the Bethlehems of our homes and daily lives. Take time, slow down, be still, be awake to the Divine Mystery that looks so common and so ordinary yet is wondrously present.
“An old abbot was fond of saying, ‘The devil is always the most active on the highest feast days.’
“The supreme trick of Old Scratch is to have us so busy decorating, preparing food, practicing music and cleaning in preparation for the feast of Christmas that we actually miss the coming of Christ. Hurt feelings, anger, impatience, injured egos—the list of clouds that busyness creates to blind us to the birth can be long, but it is familiar to us all.”
Gone only from Our Sight
I am standing on the seashore. Suddenly a ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze, and starts out for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength, and I stand and watch her until at length she is only a ribbon of white cloud just above where sea and sky mingle with each other. Then someone at my side says, ‘There! She’s gone!’
Gone where? Gone from my sight – that is all. She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side, and just as able to bear her load of living freight to the place of destination. Her diminished size is in me, not in her, and just at the moment when someone at my side says, ‘There! She’s gone!’. There are other voices ready to take the glad shout, ‘There! She comes!’.
And that is dying.
Words found in the wallet of Colonel Marcus, of the Israeli Army, when he was killed in action on 11 June 1948.
Poetry by Alice Guerin Crist – November in Ireland
November days in Ireland
The skies are dull and grey,
But Oh! The clear strong flame of love,
That burns by night and day.
As swift and bright the whispered prayers fly to the Heavens O’erhead,
From faithful hearts in Ireland, remembering their dead.
No primroses or cowslips now,
But cold November rain,
No hawthorns in the hedges,
Till Spring comes round again,
But roses bloom in chapels lone and cabins far apart
Dear rosaries of remembrance said to Mary’s loving heart.
“For all the Holy Souls we pray,
God give them peace and light
For the brave boys that died for us,
We pray both day and night.
We can feel their presence near us-we can hear their voices call,
For the dead folk in Ireland are the ‘livest’ of us all”
November days in Ireland
Are just one round of prayer,
Of loving help, and sacrifice,
For those who claim our care.
And Oh! Look up with hope to Heaven: the starry, shining dome,
Is vibrant with the beating wings of glad souls going home.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do.
“You have to chase your dreams, no matter what. The impossible just takes a little longer. One stroke at a time, one step at a time, the impossible is easy to achieve.”
– Tori Murden //sumo.ly/VE9o via @keepinspiringme
Victoria Murden McClure is an athlete and university administrator who was the first woman and the first American to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean, which she did in 1999.
A Student’s Prayer for the New School Year
Lord Jesus, I ask for Your help as I begin this new school year.
Allow me to experience Your presence in the many blessings You put before me.
Open my eyes to the new challenges and exciting opportunities that this new school year brings.
Open my heart and mind to new friends and new teachers.
Give me a generous spirit to be enthusiastic with my studies and courage to accept new opportunities.
Help me to be attentive to my teachers and let me experience Your presence in my new friends.
Jesus, inspire me to do my best this year!