It’s the End of the Year As We Know It

Happy last day of the liturgical year! It’s the end of Ordinary Time and tomorrow is the first day of Advent, the beginning of the liturgical year. I love how last Sunday, Christ the King, Lord of the Universe, is followed by Thanksgiving, and then we have a completely fresh start where we anticipate the birth of the One who makes all things new.

Advent is a wonderful season of anticipation, reflection, and preparation. We anticipate Our Lord Jesus Christ’s nativity and His second coming, reflect on how we can live more for Him who has given everything for us, and prepare to give more of ourselves to Him in this new liturgical year. It’s also a season of light penance in which we can perhaps choose to fast–e.g., from things that aren’t serving us well (like maybe our social media use)–and do works of charity for both those we don’t know and those we do.

Most of all, Advent is a season of love. Without God’s loving us before we could love Him back–kicking off the grand story of salvation history–he created us out of love, for love. The birth of Christ is the most important event in history and so it is salutary that we give more than just one day of our year–liturgical or cultural–to pondering on His coming, both then, now in the mass, and once again when the end of earthly time has come.

So, let us both somberly and joyfully prepare a special place in our hearts for this stellar event by taking some time to reflect on what He has done for us in His Incarnation, what He is doing for us daily, and what He will do for us in eternity. Maranatha!

Doing the Right Thing: A Birthday Tribute

Over a decade ago while perusing a journal I keep of favorite things read I found the following wisdom written by my dear departed friend and mentor Norma, whose birthday was October 7th and who received her heavenly promotion 17 years ago. I feel as close to her as ever as spiritual friendships are for eternity and thankfully not limited by either time or space; after all, “I believe in…the communion of saints.” It was good to be reminded of this advice on each occasion when I heard it–whether for my encouragement (usually) or her own–especially as she lived it out before my eyes during some extremely difficult times in her life. I hope it will encourage you as well!

“It’s always harder to do the right thing vs. the easy thing but it’s worth it in the end.”

The virtue of prudence–“right reason applied to action” (ST.II-II.47.2)–allows one to act rightly in any given situation, and that was Norma to a “T.” Happy Birthday, Norma, and thank you for praying for those of us who are struggling to live out this virtue as well as you did.

–Norma Lindquist, gone to be with God on September 1, 2005

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