27 December 2011

The Work of Christmas

When the star in the sky is gone,
When the Kings and Princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flocks,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost
To heal the broken
To feed the hungry
To release the prisoner
To teach the nations
To bring Christ to all
To make music in the heart.
Howard Thurman

19 December 2011

17 December 2011

Our Lady of Advent

Our Lady of Advent is without any doubt a unique model of how to embrace and love the true Advent spirit as we continue on our road to Christmas. She lived her own Advent for nine months, a longer peirod than our short four to eight weeks. She also lived it in greater intimacy, for he whom we expect to come dwelled within her, and she nourished and cared for him with unsurpassed love.

The lowly, prayerful, humble, quiet waiting attitude exercised by our Lady during her own Advent exemplifies what all our Advent days should be like. In the midst of the noisy and often chatoic Christmas preparations we encounter in today's world, the example of the Mother of God stands apart from all that is false, haughty, glittering, selfish, or superficial. Mary's presence in our midst, radiating a serene beauty through her silence, her acceptance, and total submission to God's plan, speaks volumes to each and every one of us.

Like our Lady, we must live our own submissions to the Lord with complete simplicity, humility, and trust in his plan for each of us.

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

11 December 2011

bare yourself to bear yourself.

The brilliant ravishing autumn foliage of autumn has vanished, and the trees stand stark and bare. In early winter I delight in gazing upon the sunset through the elaborate patterns of branches that partition the pink sky like the elegant tracery of a stained glass window.

The trees, with their bare branches reaching quietly toward the sky, toward the dying sunset light, seem to share in the pleading of our Advent Prayer: Come, Lord Jesus, come.

Early Christians traditionally prayed with their arms out stretched toward heaven, from where the Lord was expected to come again. The bare trees with their branches outstretched is a symbolic reminder for the monk and for all Christians, especially during this Advent journey, that we, too, must gaze at all times toward him with deep yearning.

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