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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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

Looking to God

Currently I have been struggling with a new source of stress in a year–actually two, to be honest–of great frustration. As I caught myself starting to sink under the weight of the stress I reached out to God via all my characteristic ways of coping and held on for dear life to the assurance that God is in control. Still, the sense of being overwhelmed did not leave. Thoughts of the stressor constantly invaded my mind–thanks ever so much, anxiety disorder–and despite my repeated use of my faith tools I found myself sinking.

As soon as I could this past week I consulted an older and wiser dear friend who has seen much suffering in her life. Her observation was that perhaps I was looking at the problem too much and not at God enough. I reflected on that and realized she was right. In the necessary course of things there were tasks I had to complete as a result of the change in circumstances and yet once those were complete I was still wrestling with the whole thing instead of giving it to God. Clearly this was enough of a stressor that I would need to keep giving it back to Him in surrender to Divine Providence, which reminded me of a beloved book, Abandonment to Divine Providence. (NB–It is also translated as The Sacrament of the Present Moment and my preferred translator is Kitty Muggeridge.) Time to pull it out and start steeping myself in its truths as yet another tool to fight the battle of doubt and worry about how God will provide for us in all of our needs.

Is there anything you’re struggling with today? Perhaps you are–like me–getting a little too focused on the problem and not enough on the solution: looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Heb 12:2). As we approach Thanksgiving and then the end of another liturgical year, with the feast of Christ the King to look forward to, may we be thankful that our God truly is ordering all things in our life together for good (Rom 8:28).

Faith is not a special way of feeling

Please take a moment to read this excellent summary of what faith is and what it is not from a favorite guest blogger.

Faith is not a special way of feeling.

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