Advent – Day 12

 

Reflect: We live in a world that wants to complete eradicate suffering because it sees no purpose or value. But as followers of Jesus, who himself suffered the torture of the passion and even death, we have the gift of a different perspective. The love that Jesus shows us is not only in the ultimate sacrifice and gift of his life that he
offers, but in the constancy of his remaining in suffering with us. He suffers when we suffer and when we recognize that and allow him to accompany us in the pain, it consoles his heart and our own as well. It doesn’t mean that suffering disappears or goes away, but his consolation is solace in the midst of it. I once heard the account of a group of women who were martyred while holding their babies and was asked to consider what the deepest reality was for the children. Was it that they were being put to death or that they were being held by their mothers? Because of their age, they likely didn’t understand what was going on, but the fact that they were being held was the reality about which they were most aware. In moments of suffering, let us allow ourselves to be with Jesus and held by the Father so that we would embrace suffering not as a problem to be solved but a mystery to be lived and a means to deeper intimacy with the Lord.

Share: Reach out to someone you know that is suffering physically, emotionally, or spiritually, and simply be with them. Don’t try to solve their pain, but offer them companionship and compassion by the gift of presence.

Pray: Pray the Litany of Trust. Download it here.

God bless,

Sr. M. Karolyn

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Today’s Daily Scripture Reflection  featuring Andy Lesnefsky can be found HERE.

Advent – Day 11

Reflect: Have you ever felt God was calling you to something, but felt resistant or hesitant or maybe you refused God entirely? Maybe you felt you did not have what it takes? We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses who have experienced the same thing; ordinary men and women God has called to the
extraordinary because God promised to be with them, as he told Moses, “I will be with you.”

At Christmas, we are reminded of “Emmanuel,” “God is with us.” When we realize God is with us, something changes. We are able to do even what seems impossible. God is with us, He is our helper, and He has a plan and purpose for each of our lives to lead us out of our own personal Egypt into the ultimate Promised Land.

What is the next step God is calling you to take today?

Share: What is one thing you can do today to step out in faith knowing that Jesus is with you?

Pray: Pray the Litany of Trust. Download it here.

Happy Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe!

Blessings,

Sister Mary Gianna, DLJC

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Today’s Daily Scripture Reflection  featuring Brian Kissinger can be found HERE.

Advent – Day 10

Reflection: Our culture places on each one of us the pressure to know what is best for ourselves and then make it happen. Yet we have a Father who knows us and provides, who says “you have a home, you belong”; a Father who does not leave us to muscle through life on our own, if we are willing to give Him our needs.
Share: Take some silent time to pray: “Where do I lack the courage to live today? Where am I tired of fending for myself?” Ask for the grace to know how He is offering to provide for you through His Church.

Pray: Pray the Litany of Trust. Download it here.

Blessings,

Sr. Faustina Maria Pio, SV

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Today’s Daily Scripture Reflection  featuring Andy Lesnefsky can be found HERE.

Our Lady of Guadalupe

On December 12, we celebrate Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas. We ask her intercession for the protection of all life. Incorporate Marian prayers into your daily life with the new pocket-sized Book of Mary, available for pre-order now:

Advent – Day 9

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Advent Day 9: Anxiety About the Future
Reflect: Being worried and anxious about the future is a common part of human nature. We try to prepare for the unknown, and try to have some control over its outcome. Why does God want us to stop having anxiety about the future? Because God wants us to trust Him. He wants us to trust and believe the truth that

He will take care of our every need. Trusting the future to His providence frees us from looking ahead, and focuses us on God’s presence here and now. God wants to bless and love us in the present moment, and always looking to the future robs us (and God) of the gift He wants to give us.

Share: Make a list of your current anxieties and worries, particularly those that are about your future. Pray over each one and ask God to deliver you from that anxiety. Share this video with someone you know who struggles with anxiety over their future.

Pray: Pray the Litany of Trust. Download it here.

Watch the video featuring Sr. Peter Marie, O.P.

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Today’s Daily Scripture Reflection featuring Brian Kissinger can be found HERE.

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Advent – Day 4

Loyola Press: A Jesuit Ministry
Sacred Advent

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 5

The Presence of God

As I sit here, the beating of my heart,
the ebb and flow of my breathing,
the movements of my mind
are all signs of God’s ongoing creation of me.
I pause for a moment and become aware
of this presence of God within me.

Freedom

Everything has the potential to draw from me a fuller love and life.
Yet my desires are often fixed, caught, on illusions of fulfillment.
I ask that God, through my freedom, may orchestrate my desires in a vibrant loving melody rich in harmony.

Consciousness

I ask, how am I within myself today? Am I particularly tired, stressed, or off-form? If any of these characteristics apply, can I try to let go of the concerns that disturb me?

The Word

I read the Word of God slowly, a few times over, and I listen to what God is saying to me.

Matthew 15:29–37 
After Jesus had left that place, he passed along the Sea of Galilee, and he went up the mountain, where he sat down. Great crowds came to him, bringing with them the lame, the maimed, the blind, the mute, and many others. They put them at his feet, and he cured them, so that the crowd was amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the maimed whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel. Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way.” The disciples said to him, “Where are we to get enough bread in the desert to feed so great a crowd?” Jesus asked them, “How many loaves have you?” They said, “Seven, and a few small fish.” Then ordering the crowd to sit down on the ground, he took the seven loaves and the fish; and after giving thanks he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And all of them ate and were filled; and they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full.
  • Lord, your compassion for all knows no bounds. No one who is brought to you fails to experience your healing touch in one manner or other.
  • Small is beautiful! You use the little resources offered and fill them with abundance. All are fed. May I offer today in freedom and in love all the resources available to me, to help alleviate a love-starved world.

Conversation

I begin to talk with Jesus about the Scripture I have just read. What part of it strikes a chord in me? Perhaps the words of a friend or a story I have heard recently will slowly rise to the surface of my consciousness. If so, does the story throw light on what the Scripture passage may be trying to say to me?

Conclusion

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be,
World without end. Amen.

Advent Action

► Read Receiving Advent by Tom McGrath.
► Explore the Advent tradition of the Jesse tree.

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2019: A Book of Grace-Filled Days
ABOUT THIS E-MAIL
Sacred Advent is a free e-mail series brought to you by Loyola Press. Based on the writings of Sacred Space—the trusted online prayer site by the Irish Jesuits—Sacred Advent will make this Advent a season filled with sacred moments.

Pray this way throughout the coming year with the help of Sacred Space: The Prayer Book 2019.

Advent – Day 4

Reflect: “Lay all your cares about the future trustingly in God’s hands, and let yourself be guided by the Lord just like a little child…” – St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. Today, try to surrender every fear and worry you have to the Lord. Children are carefree because they trust and love. Let the Lord you in a new way today.
Share: Ask someone today if you can pray with them. Prayer is a powerful shared experience. Share with the person you are praying together with one way God has been at work in your life recently.

Pray: Pray the Litany of Trust in the morning and at night. Download it here.

Watch today’s video featuring Sr. Miriam James, SOLT:

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Today’s Daily Scripture Reflection  featuring Andy Lesnefsky can be found HERE.

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Advent – Day 3

Loyola Press: A Jesuit Ministry
Sacred Advent

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 4

The Presence of God

As I sit here, the beating of my heart,
the ebb and flow of my breathing,
the movements of my mind
are all signs of God’s ongoing creation of me.
I pause for a moment and become aware
of this presence of God within me.

Freedom

Everything has the potential to draw from me a fuller love and life.
Yet my desires are often fixed, caught, on illusions of fulfillment.
I ask that God, through my freedom, may orchestrate my desires in a vibrant loving melody rich in harmony.

Consciousness

I ask, how am I within myself today? Am I particularly tired, stressed, or off-form? If any of these characteristics apply, can I try to let go of the concerns that disturb me?

The Word

I read the Word of God slowly, a few times over, and I listen to what God is saying to me.

Luke 10:21–24 
At that same hour Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” Then turning to the disciples, Jesus said to them privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.”
  • The 70 disciples have just returned to Jesus delighted with themselves. Their mission to bring peace and reconciliation has overcome hatred and evil. But Jesus reminds the disciples that the power working in them is because of the love God has for them. Then he draws them into the circle of his divine origin: “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see!”
  • Do I have a sense of my gifts having a source beyond me? Naming God as the source of all that I am may not come easily. I ask for a deeper awareness of the mystery to whom I belong.

Conversation

I begin to talk with Jesus about the Scripture I have just read. What part of it strikes a chord in me? Perhaps the words of a friend or a story I have heard recently will slowly rise to the surface of my consciousness. If so, does the story throw light on what the Scripture passage may be trying to say to me?

Conclusion

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be,
World without end. Amen.

Advent Action

► Read Enjoy Advent! by James Martin, SJ.
► Find James Campbell’s ideas for Celebrating Advent with Your Family.

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ABOUT THIS E-MAIL
Sacred Advent is a free e-mail series brought to you by Loyola Press. Based on the writings of Sacred Space—the trusted online prayer site by the Irish Jesuits—Sacred Advent will make this Advent a season filled with sacred moments.

Pray this way throughout the coming year with the help of Sacred Space: The Prayer Book 2019.


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Advent – Day 3

Reflect: Let’s be honest… we may sometimes struggle with a sneaking fear that “God loves me because He has to love me, and not because I am actually lovable or because He actually finds me delightful.” But God willed us for our own sake (CCC 356), choosing to make us in His image, a unique and unrepeatable reflection of His glory.
God is, as St. Catherine of Siena put it, “crazy-in-love with us”. Jesus, the Adorable One, took on human flesh to reveal to us our worth and lovableness. He freely chose to become human – to feel what we do, to experience what we experience, even to look like us – to save us from believing the lie that we are unlovable.

Share: Today, ask Jesus: “Lord, show me how you see me. Help me to believe that I am good, that I am lovable, that You delight in me.”

God Bless!

Sr. Marie Veritas

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Today’s Daily Scripture Reflection  featuring Brian Kissinger can be found HERE.