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Sunday Sharing

Before I begin, I want to thank all of you for the incredible, and very humbling, support and love that was shown in response to my last article.  I’ve never really considered myself much of a writer, and I was so touched by all of the positive responses.  These articles are both a welcoming and refreshing challenge, and I’ve enjoyed demanding more of myself.

For some reason, this week has been so hard for me to write about.  One would think it would be pretty easy, right?  Second week of Advent, candle for hope, “prepare the way of the Lord”, etc.  There is so much inspiration there, but I was so stuck.  So, as one does when they are stuck, I turned to outside sources for help.  Here are a couple of reflections that I found fascinating.  And since I will not be writing again before Christmas, I wish everyone a wonderful Advent, Christmas, and New Year!

An Advent Examination
Edward Hays, A Pilgrim’s Almanac, p. 196

Advent is the perfect time to clear and prepare the Way. Advent is a winter training camp for those who desire peace. By reflection and prayer, by reading and meditation, we can make our hearts a place where a blessing of peace would desire to abide and where the birth of the Prince of Peace might take place.

Daily we can make an Advent examination. Are there any feelings of discrimination toward race, sex, or religion? Is there a lingering resentment, an unforgiven injury living in our hearts? Do we look down upon others of lesser social standing or educational achievement? Are we generous with the gifts that have been given to us, seeing ourselves as their stewards and not their owners? Are we reverent of others, their ideas and needs, and of creation? These and other questions become Advent lights by which we may search the deep, dark corners of our hearts.

Gift of Wonder
Rev. Alfred McBride, O. Praem., THE PRIEST, Oct. ‘87, p.26

Each year, God asks us to shed one more coat of awareness, one more dream state and come alive to the vision of God’s plan for each of us and the world-at-large.

The older we get, the harder this is to do. As children we had a sense of wonder. Our eyes were wide open and drinking in the fascinating gifts we beheld…Our thirsty souls could not have enough of the wonders of creation.

Then, somehow, we grew too old to dream. We tired of the abundance of the world, or at least grew weary of keeping up with the feast of life, and stepped away from the banquet of life.

The natural gift of wonder God gave us as children was meant to be kept alive.…Instead we let wonder go to sleep. We entered the typical dream state of most humans.

Why else does Jesus tell us today, ‘Stay awake!’…Advent says, ‘Wake up and realize the gifts of love you have received.’

…Psychology says, ‘Let go.’ Spirituality says, ‘Wake up.’ In both cases there is a withdrawal from the busyness of daily life (our dream state) and a waking up to the subconscious and spiritual depths of ourselves.

Christine Domalik

Rev. Robert Heidenreich