30 November 2011

It might be easy...

It might be easy to run away to a monastery, away from the commercialization, the hectic hustle, the demanding family responsibilities of Christmas-time. Then we would have a holy Christmas. But we would forget the lesson of the Incarnation, of the enfleshing of God—the lesson that we who are followers of Jesus do not run from the secular; rather we try to transform it. It is our mission to make holy the secular aspects of Christmas just as the early Christians baptized the Christmas tree. And we do this by being holy people—kind, patient, generous, loving, laughing people—no matter how maddening is the Christmas rush…"

- Fr. Andrew Greeley

28 November 2011

our biggest fear

Every Easter we renew our baptismal vows, because that dying-to-rise is the essence of the Christian life. And that's what we fear. More than we fear death, we fear life. I don't mean the hard-shelled routine that passes for life, but the real thing, fresh and free, foolish in the world's eyes, stripped of the trappings of worldly honor and wealth and power, naked as a little child - or as Christ on the cross, clothed only in obedience and love.

We shy away. Who knows whether that other thief, the unrepentant, had a moment when he too could have caught at dying to live again, but feared, and turned away with a jest?

Jesus calls us to save our lives by losing them. In him we are that corn of wheat that falls into the ground and dies, to bring forth much fruit

Praying With St. Paul
Anthony Esolen


Advent is primarily about waiting. It is about waiting for the Lord to come.

There is something special about this particular type of waiting. First of all, waiting is a spiritual attitude we cultivate deep within ourselves. We know the Lord is coming, and therefore we desire and hasten his arrival by a patient attitude of waiting for him.

We wait and wait for the Lord. We become very conscious of waiting. It is an eager waiting, full of anticipation and wonder, for as the prophets of old, our companions on the road, we long to see his face.
The Lord, of course, is very much aware of this patient waiting, of this deep yearning for him, and he is ever ready to come into our lives and fulfill our deepest desires. Advent waiting is twofold. On our part, we await prayerfully, consciously, and anticipate his coming. On God's part, he is eager to arrive and find a warm dwelling place in our hearts.

The greater our desire and patience in waiting for him, the fuller we shall be filled with his presence.

A Monastery Journey to Christmas
Br. Victor-Antione D'Avila-Latourrette

24 November 2011

...and meet us in our temptation...

Holiness does not lie on the other side of temptation; it is to be found in the midst of temptation. It does not sit waiting for us on a level above our weakness; it is given us in weakness, or else we would elude the power of God that is operative only in our weakness.

Rather we must learn to 'abide' in weakness, and to do so full of faith, open to the weakness and in utter surrender to God's mercy. It is only in our weakness that we are vulnerable to his love and power.

Accordingly, to continue in the situation of temptation and weakness is the only way for us to connect with grace, the only way we can become miracles of God's mercy.

Tuning Into Grace
Andre Louf, OCSO