We had a beautiful Thanksgiving Day of praying, feasting, sharing and hiking. It also was a day to say goodbye...to meat! Until the Nativity of the Lord. First Vespers of the First Sunday of Advent brought us our lovely tradition of a candlelight procession into the darkened chapel to the hymn of "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" culminating in the blessing of the Advent wreathe. We chanted the antiphon "Marana tha! Come O Christ the Lord!" in between the prayers of blessing prayed by Mother Catherine Marie.
Yesterday we had a spiritually refreshing Lectio Divina afternoon led by our faithful Msgr. Powers. This year he has been leading us through a reflection on Vita Consecrata. As he spoke to us of paragraph #36 "Fidelity to our Charism" he mentioned the need for detachment saying that "stuff (meaning our attachments) have peanut butter on them. They stick to us". This got some chuckles as we are seeing a lot of peanut butter these days.
May each one of you have a very holy Advent...a time of joyful self-denial in order to make space for the Lord, a time of "keeping watch", a time to love the Lord and long for His coming. I leave you with Msgr.'s closing prayer after we spent time pondering/discussing Jeremiah 29: 11, 13 during the 2nd half of our Lectio Divina session.
Plans for Advent
Loving Spirit of God, You say to me You know the plans for me during this Advent. plans for my welfare, not for woe… plans for a future full of hope.
I come, Most Holy Spirit, wanting to know these plans, wanting to enter into them and desiring to respond to them
I come, ready to accept your will, ready to listen to your word and obey. I come, ready to do your will in this Advent.
Loving Holy Spirit, You say your plan for me this Advent is to seek for You, to search for You and to search with my whole heart… to seek until I find, find the Incarnate Word of God.
Loving God, it is not so much that God is Hidden, rather it is that You are coming, You are a God coming out of mystery of the Trinity into my life, into my nature, coming into my world
Your plan for me in this Advent is to seek, to search, to search until I find.
Gracious Loving Spirit, take me to the Sacred Scriptures and hold me there till I find You.
Take me to the Blessed Sacrament and keep me there till I find You in the Eucharist.
Take me into silence and keep me there till I find You in the interior of my heart.
Your plan for me is that You let me find You, the loving God…
Loving God, give the grace to search till I kneel at Bethlehem and adore.
Msgr. Bernard Powers