Saturday, December 17, 2016


Pregnant Virgin- Hungary
During these weeks of Advent, we prepare for the celebration of Christ’s birth through prayer and reflection. Amid the last minute flurry of Christmas preparations, we must look for practical ways to observe the holiness of this time.  The contemplative experience is not only for nuns and monks but for all Christians.

"Advent is the season of the God-seeker. . . . May God help us to wake up to ourselves and in doing so, to move from ourselves toward Him."
                          Alfred Delp, S.J.  Advent of the Heart, Seasonal Sermons and Prison Writings

Last Monday was the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The reading was Mary hastening to visit Elizabeth, as she has just heard she too is with child.  What always flies into my mind when I I hear this Gospel reading is Thomas Merton’s poem “The Quickening of St. John the Baptist (On the Contemplative Vocation)”.

You have trusted no town with the news behind your eyes.
You have drowned Gabriel's word in thoughts like seas
And turned toward the stone mountain
To the treeless places.
Virgin of God, why are y
our clothes like sails? 

I have often thought if I was an artist I would paint this image of Our Mother flying with sails!

In this last week of Advent, many feel the weight of things to still be done, baking, last minute shopping, meal planning, etc. Yet the Church summons us to stop and be still for a while with the Mother of the Lord. While we rush around, in celebration of the birth of our Savior, there is an irony in the fact that Mary herself was most tranquil. Yes she did fly off to meet her cousin in the early days, with the intent of sharing the good news for both and to care for Elizabeth in her last days.  She who is to be the Mother of God, only has a care for someone else.

Let us take example from Mary, and focus our attention in quiet, even for a few minutes each day this week, as we prepare to celebrate His Love for us!

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