Second Sunday in Advent: A Prayer for This Season

Yes, we’re now in the second week of Advent and life is just whizzing by–or at least it is for me and I suspect the same is true for you. If you could use some practical, realistic, non-guilt inducing inspiration for the season then this just might do the trick…

Prepare a way for you, Lord? I’ve got lots of work to do!

Help me prepare a way for you into my home, Lord:
help me find a place, a room, a corner, a chair
where you and I can meet each day to pray.
Perhaps I’ll put a candle there, with a Bible;
maybe a statue or a picture; a rosary or a prayer card:
something to mark the spot as the place I keep
to go each day to sit and rest, to take a deep breath,
to remember your presence and open my heart in prayer.

Help me prepare a way for you on my calendar,
an “appointment” each day;
even just ten minutes for you and me to get together,
to talk about the day, its ups and downs,
and get to know each other just a little better than yesterday.

Help me prepare a way for you to enter my thoughts, Lord.
When I’m trying to figure things out, nudge me
to ask for your guidance and counsel,
your Spirit and your wisdom,
when I’m making decisions and choices.
Help me prepare a way for you, Lord,
in my family and among my friends, at work and at school,
in my parish and in my neighborhood.
Help me prepare a way for you to come into the hearts
of those around me who are alone.

Help me prepare a way for you, Lord,
in the crazy rush of Christmas all around me.
Help me remember it’s your birthday
and that you should get some presents—from me.
Help me remember the poverty of your nativity:
make your way into my wallet and spend generously
on those whose needs are so much greater than my own.
Help me remember that of all the gifts I might receive,
none is greater than the love you have for me.

Help me prepare a way for you
to enter my life decisively, Lord.
In the quiet of my prayer, Lord,
help me clear the path you walk into my life, into my soul.

In the stillness of my prayer, Lord,
help me see you as you make your way towards me,
and show me that no matter the roadblocks I put up,
you’ll find a way to come, to enter,
and to fill me with your presence. Amen.

From Good Morning, Good God! by Fr. Austin Fleming, The Word Among Us Press, 2015, via

https://wau.org/resources/article/a_prayer_for_advent/

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Advent is Here!

Disclaimer: This is a rerun from last year with a few brand new music recommendations included…

If you observe the liturgical year, then let me wish you a Happy New Year as you celebrate the first Sunday in Advent. If you use an advent wreath or candles and already have them out, good for you! Here are a couple of resources you might not know about to enrich your Advent experience as you prepare your heart to celebrate the nativity of the King of Kings.

Flock Notes’ Carpe Verbum text messages for Scripture reading, prayer, and thoughtful action.

You can read the blog but it’s more convenient for many of us to get their daily text for reading, praying, and listening to God as preparation for how you will live out the day. There’s even a nifty image and capsulized message that can be saved and used for your lock and/or home screen. The content was written with teens in mind but I haven’t found this to be limiting. In fact, some of the features designed for the younger mindset come in handy for the over 50 crowd as well–both my mom and I are using the daily screenshot reminder of that day’s key point, along with an Advent candle graphic, to keep our Advent focus going in a festive yet practical way.

http://www.carpeverbum.org/

Young Oceans’ Advent album for a soundtrack.

Good contemporary music for Advent is hard to find. So imagine my surprise when I went searching this morning on Amazon Music Unlimited this morning and found this gem! I am mesmerized by its perfectly pleasing mellow harmonies and lovely musical textures, not to mention the solid Advent lyrics. Plus, the multiple instrumental pieces are both soothing and uplifting with an anticipatory feel to them. I’m a musical fussbudget but this is something reminiscent of both Taizé and Jars of Clay but altogether its own sound. If you’re looking for something new for Advent, I highly recommend sampling this.

https://smile.amazon.com/Advent-Deluxe-Young-Oceans/dp/B00BKBJUYA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1512318686&sr=8-1&keywords=young+oceans+advent#customerReviews

Additionally, a brand new resource available for 2018 is Matt Maher’s ingenious album: The Advent of Christmas. As always with his music, there’s something for everyone in terms of style and content from the soothing sublime to scintillating songs old and new.

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07H9FGWF7?pf_rd_p=c2945051-950f-485c-b4df-15aac5223b10&pf_rd_r=30RPVAQ4B2FTTGXVVMHG

Finally, there are also two new albums of piano music for Advent and Christmastide in 2018 for a nice ambient touch. Thomas Keesecker’s The Quiet Center: Piano Music for Advent and Christmas and The Quiet Center: Music for Christmas and Epiphany.

https://smile.amazon.com/Quiet-Center-Piano-Advent-Christmas/dp/B07DPV1XZM/ref=sr_1_2?s=dmusic&ie=UTF8&qid=1543764019&sr=1-2-mp3-albums-bar-strip-0&keywords=Thomas+Keesecker

https://smile.amazon.com/Quiet-Night-Piano-Christmas-Epiphany/dp/B07DGKSQDJ/ref=sr_1_1?s=dmusic&ie=UTF8&qid=1543763979&sr=1-1-mp3-albums-bar-strip-0&keywords=Thomas+Keesecker

What are some of your favorite Advent resources? Please feel free to share. Have a blessed season of preparation to celebrate Christ’s birth!

On Being Whole

For quite some time I have not posted and I wanted to let my readers know that–despite my silence–I am thankful for all of you. Between not doing well healthwise and writer’s block I just haven’t been able to muster up the mojo to get anything written. After talking with a wonderfully encouraging friend recently I decided to start back using baby steps: posting a quotation that I’ve run across and perhaps saying a few words about it. This way at least I’m getting over the hump of resuming posting on my always irregular basis…So, without any further ado, this Thanksgiving I just want to say how grateful I am for all my family and friends and readers and I hope to be more active again in the future. In the meantime, here are some words worth pondering…

“God did not tell us to follow Him because He needed our help, but because He knew that loving Him would make us whole.”

St. Irenaeus

Monday Musings

For those of you not familiar with it, here’s the complete text of The Serenity Prayer. As great as the short one is I think this longer version nails it!

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Amen.

Reinhold Niebuhr

 

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