“Our task is to seek and find Christ in our world as it is, not as it might be,” wrote Merton. “The fact that the world is other than it might be does not alter the truth that Christ is present in it and that His plan has been neither frustrated nor changed: indeed, all will be done according to His will. “Our Advent is a celebration of this hope. What is uncertain is not the ‘coming’ of Christ but our own reception of Him, our own response to Him, our own readiness and capacity to ‘go forth to meet him.'” In other words: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.” Turns out John the Baptist is right on time, not only in this season but in this period of history. The world tries to tangle us up in heartbreak and division, but John reminds us in the bluntest of terms that this world holds nothing for us. We belong to the One who is and was and is to come. ... See MoreSee Less
Make your house fair as you are able, trim the hearth and set the table. People look East and sing today: Love, the Guest, is on the way. 🎨 Angels Garlanding the Infant Christ (date unknown) - Ann Macbeth ... See MoreSee Less
ADVENT WAITING “While Christ remained hidden in Mary, his rest was a tremendous activity; he was making her into himself, making himself from her. From her eyes he was making the eyes that would weep over Jerusalem, that would shine upon the wildflowers, that would close in death and open in the morning of Resurrection. From her hands he was making the hands that would heal and raise the dead and be nailed to the cross. From her heart he was making the heart whose love would redeem the world. The same thing happens when, allowing the Infant Christ to rest in us, we wait patiently on his own timing of his growth in us, and give him just what he asks, the extremely simple things that are ourselves-our hands and feet, our eyes and ears, our words, our thoughts, our love. Not only does he grow in us, but we are formed into Him.” - Caryll Houselander
📸Statue of expectant Mary in Magdala, on the shore of Galilee from our 2022 parish pilgrimage ... See MoreSee Less
Friday, Dec 02, 2022 ADVENT WEEKDAY TODAY'S READINGS: Isaiah 29:17-24; Matthew 9:27-31. “Let it be done for you according to your faith.”
Walk with each other
Today, the church remembers martyrs Jean Donovan, Maura Clarke, Dorothy Kazel, and Ita Ford, brutally murdered for standing with the poor in war-torn El Salvador in 1980. Their witness still speaks profoundly to us today as we encounter our own wars, violence, and suffering, especially among the most vulnerable. And still, we struggle to know what to do. Let us take courage as we ponder the questions posed by Ita Ford in 1977: "Am I willing to suffer with the people here, the suffering of the powerless? Can I say to my neighbors, ‘I have no solution to this situation. I don't know the answers, but I will walk with you, search with you, be with you?'" #takefiveforfaith ... See MoreSee Less
"One of [the kids] slid off of her chair and fell onto the floor, screaming because I accidentally touched her candle. The other two fought over who got to light the candle. This was supposed to be a magical moment, and instead, it was a hot mess!" Ashley Wallace
5 Practical Suggestions for Doing Advent Devotions with Your Children
1. It’s all about grace.
I try to think about Jesus if he were sitting leading the devotions.
Would he get angry? Would he demand that they sit still, pay attention, and “get it”?
Or would he, to borrow language from Luke 13:34, lovingly gather them in his arms as a mother hen gathers her chicks under her wings. This helps me to patiently answer their questions and laugh a whole lot!
2. It’s not going to be perfect…ever!
BUT over time, you are making memories, sweet memories, and you are establishing holy practices and traditions.
3. Fire is your friend.
Simply lighting candles and turning the lights down low immediately creates a sense of awe in young children. They really do quiet down a little, and it makes them feel like something special is happening.
4. Try to have different levels of engagement.
Let the older children participate in reading the scriptures, leading the devotion, or lighting the candles. Let your smaller children look at some kind of Jesus picture book.
I’ve even given my littlest ones something that they can manipulate and play with while listening.
5. Chill out!
You are not trying to create the perfect Instagram moment!
Remember what you are trying to do. You are trying to usher your family into the presence of God, who is always delighted to welcome us there…hot mess and all! ... See MoreSee Less
Anyone who has followed the news over the past year has seen more images than ever of people coping with floods. Families waiting on rooftops, people stuffed in boats, neighbors wading through murky water. Jesus constantly used images to make his point, including the image of discipleship as a solid house that stands firm during storms and floods. “Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies,” Saint Teresa of Calcutta once said. Are you building a strong, flood-proof house in the small things you do each day?
ADVENT WEEKDAY TODAY'S READINGS: Isaiah 26:1-6; Matthew 7:21, 24-27. “Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.” #takefiveforfaith ... See MoreSee Less