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Praying through Advent -- 2006 ^ | Advent, 2006 | EWTN

Posted on 12/03/2006 12:12:32 AM PST by Salvation

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TOPICS: Catholic; Evangelical Christian; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: advent; catholiclist; prayer
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Week 1: Saturday

The light of the moon will be like that of the sun and the light of the sun will be seven times greater (like the light of seven days). On the day the Lord binds up the wounds of His people, He will heal the bruises left by His blows. (Isaiah 30:26)


God, while His ways are still mysterious to us, is not on the sidelines of our lives. Just as Isaiah predicted, He has come, in Jesus, to bind up the hurt of His people, and through Jesus’ presence is still active in the world.

Advent Action

Find an opportunity today to be the hands of God, and "bind up" someone’s hurt. Say a kind word and listen with compassion to someone who is suffering.

Before going to bed, say a decade of the rosary for  your mother.


Lord, flood me with Your light, and help me to brighten the lives of those whom I find most dark.

41 posted on 12/09/2006 10:29:19 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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2006 Advent Calendar
Attend Confession today to ready your soul for the grace of Christ's birth!

42 posted on 12/09/2006 10:31:41 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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Friday, December 8
The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Where We Are Molded into the Image of Jesus

When Gabriel greets Mary, the world changes. “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.” Each human being is caught up in the mystery that comes to life in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. What we call the grace of adoption achieves its completion in baptism. But the mystery begins when the Word becomes man in the immaculate womb of a virgin whose name was Mary. Thenceforth her womb occupies a privileged place in the life of Christians. There we are molded into the image of Jesus Christ. We receive God’s favor. “ To live without God’s favor means to remain sterile and alone. It is a frightening prospect. There is never cause for discouragement, however. God made Mary immaculate to protect us from the vicious blackmail of the devil. His voice that, like the serpent in the garden, whispers, “You’ll never change. You’ll always be alone.” Only God can change man’s original plight. To announce this great reversal, he made the mother of his Son immaculate from the first moment of her conception. What happened to Mary in an instant happens to us progressively. She alone is the Morning Star. The rest of us find consolation in her Immaculate Conception. Like a good mother, Mary encourages us. She wants us to become fruitful and holy companions of her Son.

Reflection based on Luke 1:26-38

Father Romanus Cessario

Loving Father, change my plight of doubt, desolation, and defeat through the love and maternal mediation of Mary Immaculate.

43 posted on 12/09/2006 2:30:29 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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Esperience the Joy of Advent

Touched By Grace
Fr. Jack Peterson  
Other Articles by Fr. Jack Peterson
Printer Friendly Version
Experience the Joy of Advent

December 9, 2006

Advent is a season of joyful expectation. There are many sources of our joy during Advent. I would like to take a look at three of them: experiencing God's tender mercy, receiving a special gift, and serving others.

The Church watches three major figures as it prepares for Christmas: Scrooge, Jimmy Stewart and the Grinch. Actually, they are Isaiah the prophet, John the Baptist, and Mary, the Mother of God. The Gospel for the Second Sunday of Advent turns our attention to John the Baptist. John was the last of the Old Testament prophets and the first of the New.

Prophets have the job of calling us out of our stubbornness and demanding change. As the first New Testament prophet, John had the supreme privilege of introducing the whole world to Christ, the promised Messiah, and pointing out the surest path to a profound encounter with Jesus, the way of repentance. John attracted huge crowds because he spoke the truth in love. He helped people recognize the serious consequences of their sins and convince them that God is deeply pleased when we acknowledge them, humbly ask for forgiveness, and commit to avoiding them in the future.

 I have found that one of the great joys of my life is receiving God's mercy in the Sacrament of Penance. In confession, I have found God's goodness and mercy to be beyond measure. I never cease to be amazed that God is willing to forgive me time after time. If John's baptism of repentance was so essential to the first coming of Christ, it will be equally essential for the coming of Christ anew into our hearts this Christmas. The fundamental connection of repentance with Christmas is why so many of the classic Christmas movies are stories about conversion.

Another Advent joy is the blessing of receiving a precious gift. When I was about 13 years old, I asked my parents for an over-the-top gift for Christmas. I never expected actually to receive it, but I tossed my wish out there anyway, as kids often do. When I woke up on Christmas morning, there was a motorcycle near our tree. I was completely overwhelmed. I do not remember at what point that year I finally stopped saying "awesome." To this day, I am astonished that my parents sacrificed for me and provided that present.

As I got older, I was able to realize that that gift from my parents was a very pale reminder of the greatest gift that the world has ever known - the Gift of God's only-begotten Son. My parents' sacrificial love represented in that gift was, in fact, a tiny little glimpse of our heavenly Father's sacrificial love poured out in the gift of Emmanuel, God-with-us. The King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Prince of Peace, the Mighty God, the Wonderful Counselor, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, was born of Mary, wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a borrowed manger. Is there a greater gift? Is there a greater cause for joy?

Finally, there is the joy that comes from serving others in love. We all have so much more than we need, yet God wants to give us even more. The key to this quandary is to give the gift of ourselves and what we have to those in need. Advent provides us with many opportunities to serve our families and those who have less - the poor, the elderly, the lonely, and the suffering.

A few years ago, the junior class president at Marymount University arranged to have a 30-person choir from a local middle school sing at our annual Christmas tree-lighting ceremony. The children who sang were visibly thrilled to be at our event and our Advent tradition took on a joyful, new twist. I am sure that making those arrangements was an extra burden for our student leader at the end of the semester. Yet the effort to serve both the kids and the Marymount community added remarkable joy to our campus. Caring service comes with a built-in joy. Make it your intention to be a servant this Advent and you will know the joy of the Lord.

Advent is indeed a time of joyful expectation. Joy comes wrapped in many packages. Take the time to humbly repent of your sins, ask for the grace of God to fully appreciate the gift of the Christ-child, and commit yourself to serving those in need this Advent and you will enter into the joy of the Lord.

44 posted on 12/09/2006 7:18:02 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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Saturday, December 9
First Saturday of Advent

Absolute Generosity and Abundance

Christ’s tremendous compassion for human weakness stands out in the Gospels. Time and again we see his tender mercy in the face of our frailty and suffering. While it hurts our pride – no doubt a good thing! -- to admit it, we truly are the lost sheep; we don’t know what to do with ourselves, we go this way and that, we try to live according to our own devices – and fall. Today is the feast day of Saint Juan Diego, the humble Mexican who saw a vision of Our Lady of Guadalupe, now America’s patroness. Mary gave him a cape full of roses to help convince the bishop of the apparition’s authenticity. Nowadays, we have flowers flown in from all parts of the world and so out of season blooms are not so surprising. But in Diego’s day, a mantle full of fresh roses was a singular sign in December, evidence of something extraordinary, something beyond human devices. Winter roses are not merely a spectacular sight they are also a beautiful sign of God’s favor. Mary chose to make herself known to Juan Diego through an extraordinary gift, a gift that later transformed itself into an image of herself that time has not destroyed – one that points to the absolute generosity and abundance that Christ brings into our lives. Into lives of nothingness and confusion he brings joy and light and love.

Reflection based on Matthew 9:35, 10:1, 5a, 6-8

Rebecca Vitz Cherico

Loving Father, amidst the confusion and powerlessness of my life let me experience the light and love of your Son.

45 posted on 12/09/2006 10:30:42 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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Week 2: Second Sunday of Advent

Prayer for the Advent Wreath

Lord, our God, we praise You for Your Son, Jesus Christ, for He is Emmanuel, the Hope of all people.
He is the Wisdom that teaches and guides us.
He is the Savior of us all.
O Lord,
let your blessing come upon us as we light the first and second (purple) candles of this wreath.
May the wreath and its light be a sign of Christ’s promise of salvation.
May He come quickly and not delay.
We ask this in His holy name. Amen.



 We light a candle today, a small dim light against a world that often seems forbidding and dark. But we light it because we are a people of hope, a people whose faith is marked by an expectation that we should always be ready for the coming of the Master. The joy and anticipation of this season is captured beautifully in the antiphons of hope from the monastic liturgies:

See! The ruler of the earth shall come,  the Lord who will take from us the heavy burden of our exile
The Lord will come soon, will not delay.
The Lord will make the darkest places bright.
We must capture that urgency today in the small flame of our candle. We light the candle because we know that the coming of Christ is tied to our building of the kingdom. Lighting the flame, feeding the hungry, comforting the sick, reconciling the divided, praying for the repentant, greeting the lonely and forgotten – doing all these works hastens His coming.


46 posted on 12/09/2006 10:32:56 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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2006 Advent Calendar
Light two purple candles in the Advent wreath each night this week. Sing "O Come, O Come Emanuel."

47 posted on 12/09/2006 10:36:12 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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Sunday, December 10
Second Sunday of Advent

Lk 3:1-6

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar,
when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea,
and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee,
and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region
of Ituraea and Trachonitis,
and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene,
during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas,
the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the desert.
John went throughout the whole region of the Jordan,
proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins,
as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah:
A voice of one crying out in the desert:
“Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths.
Every valley shall be filled
and every mountain and hill shall be made low.
The winding roads shall be made straight,
and the rough ways made smooth,
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”

48 posted on 12/10/2006 7:50:06 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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Sunday, December 10
First Saturday of Advent

Preparing for a New Presence

During Advent the Church identifies with John the Baptist and uses his witness to prepare us for the new presence of Christ that will be ours at Christmas. This towering saint, the friend of the Bridegroom, as Luke shows us today in the Gospel, appeared at just the moment God willed for him. He is a figure in time and space, in history. The word of the Lord came to him in “the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar” (probably AD 28-29) and, to prepare Israel for the coming of its Messiah, he preached a “baptism of repentance.” In this way the people could ratify their membership in Israel and accept their vocation. They repented and renounced their sins, accepted a baptism that signified conversion, and committed themselves to God. John was “a voice of one crying out in the desert: “Prepare the way of the Lord.” We prepare the way for the Lord to come into our hearts by repenting of our sins, expressing our conversion by a good confession, accepting our vocation as Christians, and helping others, especially in our families, to prepare their hearts for the grace of Christmas. The Lord is saying to you: listen to John’s words resounding in my Church and yield to what I want to do in your life.

Reflection based on Luke 3:1-6

Father Francis Martin

Loving Father, make me sorrowful for my sins and enable me to yield to what you want to do in my life.

49 posted on 12/10/2006 8:22:49 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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Week 2: Monday

Say to those whose hearts are frightened: Be strong, fear not! Here is your God, He comes with vindication; With divine recompense He comes to save you. (Isaiah 35: 4)


In a world where political instability threatens long established order, where crime in our country seems out of control and unstoppable, there seems to be plenty to be afraid of. Isaiah reminds us that God’s power is beyond anything on this earth that could frighten us. "Be strong" and "fear not" this Advent.
Is having a frightened heart different that just being afraid? The kind of fear we have in our hearts is usually fear for people we love. God’s care encompasses them as well. Trust God’s power.

Advent Action

Send a Christmas card to a young person you know and care for. Remind them that you are praying for them, and remind them of the faith significance of the upcoming holiday.


Lord, You are my strength and with You here, my own fears fade right away.


50 posted on 12/10/2006 8:25:46 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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2006 Advent Calendar
Include in your Christmas cards a note about the blessings you have received this year. It will be a witness to God's love.

51 posted on 12/10/2006 8:28:06 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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Week 2: Tuesday

Then will the eyes of the blind be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared; then will the lame leap like a stag, then the tongue of the dumb will sing. Streams will burst forth in the desert, and rivers in the steppe. The burning sands will become pools, and the thirsty ground, springs of water; the abode where the jackals lurk will be a marsh for the reed and papyrus. (Isaiah 35: 5-7)


In Advent we celebrate the miraculous transformations Isaiah talks about: the lame leaping and streams of water bursting forth in the desert. We also celebrate seemingly ordinary events, the birth of two babies, John the Baptist and Jesus, that are part of the unfolding of God’s salvation plan. In every event of our lives, God is there, with His mercy and love and purpose. God desires that all should feel His mercy and love just as the desert sands would experience the overflowing spring.

Advent Action

Let God’s mercy and love operate in your own life. Make up with a friend or family member you have been fighting with.


Lord, may I joyfully overflow the confining boundaries I have set to my love.

52 posted on 12/12/2006 8:53:36 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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Our Lady of Guadalupe: Protectress of the Unborn

Was Our Lady of Guadalupe Wrong?



A Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe

Relic From Guadalupe Tilma to Tour U.S.

The Amazing Truth of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Our Lady Of Guadalupe

Celebrating 470 years of an ongoing miracle, the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe 1531

Science Stunned by Virgin of Guadalupe´s Eyes


53 posted on 12/12/2006 8:54:34 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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2006 Advent Calendar
In honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe, place a rose in a vase and pray a "Hail Mary" whenever you notice it.

54 posted on 12/12/2006 8:56:49 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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Monday, December 11
Monday of the Second Week of Advent

Re-examining Our Thinkiing

In the middle of this vivid Gospel, in which Jesus heals a paralyzed man lowered by stretcher through a roof, is the blunt question of Our Lord: “What are you thinking in your hearts?” The words are directed at the Pharisees and teachers of the law who have just witnessed the miracle, but who are offended by Our Lord saying, “Your sins are forgiven.” A stubborn logic beclouds their thought: they are too confident of wrong being done. God alone can forgive sins: the man speaking pronounces words only God can say: therefore he blasphemes. It is amazing that they hold tightly to this cold analysis even after the paralyzed man stood up, picked up his mat, and walked. This refusal to re-examine their thinking, to backtrack from a harsh conclusion and realize the divine presence in their midst, is not so much poor thinking, a mistake in argument, but a grave error of soul. The scene recalls words of Saint John of the Cross: “The evil-minded see sin everywhere. Wisdom alone gives eyes of discernment. And only those who love are truly wise.” For our part, let us hear Jesus ask this same question of us, so that our perceptions, our habits of thought, are never separated from a desire to love present in our hearts. Let us grow in the wisdom of love.

Reflection based on Luke 5:17-26

Father Donald Haggerty

Loving Father, refashion my perception and perfect the way I think so that I may live in your wisdom.

55 posted on 12/12/2006 9:07:51 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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Our Lady of Guadlupe

Our Lady of Guadlalupe



guadalup.jpg (4744 bytes)

Click to see larger imageThe Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe

The only true picture
of the Mother of God To the Aztecs a message To the Spaniards a picture color, lines, stars, designs, rays, moon. all have meaning

 Flowers and Songs

Mary appeared on Tepeyac, the hill was covered with flowers, surrounded by songs of the most beautiful birds
meaning: flowers and songs mean the full truth



Size of the image: 6 1/2' X 3 1/2' Mary adolescent, around 15, oval face, Mexican clear dark face, a little mother


as a caryatid, wings half open, sustain Our Lady red, white, blue in color the angel is holding both: the pink dress represents earth; the blue mantle represents heaven meaning: Heaven and earth are witnesses to the truth of the apparition message


Brightest gold - finest - royalty: as if woven, as if they would fall at touch 48 stars, 8 points; 22 on right, 26 on left show constellations that were in the sky at the time of the apparition 10:30 am December 12, 1531

pattern: The stars on one side represent the northern constellations, the others represent the southern constellations. Can see Venus the morning star, Virgo would fall on the hands, Leo on the womb, crown of stars on the head.


in Nahuatl the designs of gold thread as embroidered flowers of 8 petals represent mountains; the only 4-petal flower on womb just below sash in the center means life and movement


tied around the waist; symbol of pregnancy Central part of dress bulging - means She is with child


End of dress rolled back over the sleeves white fur means nobility - dressed in Jewish nobility - nothing Indian about it


joined in prayer of supplication, therefore not a goddess; there is someone greater than Her


stands on moon, horns up - Rev. 12:1 moon pagan god of night, providence, youth, war She is greater than the moon


mighty god; Our Lady blocks the sun behind Her She is brighter than the sun god


rays bright near body, fade out away from body 129 rays - 62 on right, 67 on left equidistant alternating forms: 1) straight like swords 2) undulating flames

Red Border

because of rising sun - new life


surrounding the entire image

56 posted on 12/12/2006 10:09:05 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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Catholic Culture

Lord God, may we, your people, who look forward to the birthday of Christ experience the joy of salvation and celebrate that feast with love and thanksgiving. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

December 12, 2006 Month Year Season

Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Old Calendar: Our Lady of Guadalupe (Third Class, U.S.)

"Rejoice: the Lord is nigh." As Christmas draws near, the Church emphasizes the joy which should be in our hearts over all that the birth of our Savior means for us. The great joy of Christians is to see the day drawing nigh when the Lord will come again in His glory to lead them into His kingdom. The oft-repeated Veni ("Come") of Advent is an echo not only of the prophets but also of the conclusion of the Apocalypse of St. John: "Come, Lord Jesus," the last words of the New Testament.

In 1910 Our Lady of Guadalupe was declared Patroness of Latin America, and in 1945 Pope Pius XII declared Her to be the Empress of all the Americas. She appeared to an Indian convert named Juan Diego on December 9, 1531. She left a marvelous portrait of herself on the mantle of Juan Diego. This miraculous image has proved to be ageless, and is kept in the shrine built in her honor, the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Jesse Tree ~ Moses

Our Lady of Guadalupe
"Hear me and understand well, my son the least, that nothing should frighten or grieve you. Let not your heart be disturbed. Do not fear that sickness, nor any other sickness or anguish. Am I not here, who is your Mother? Are you not under my protection? Am I not your health? Are you not happily within my fold? What else do you wish? Do not grieve nor be disturbed by anything."
— Our Lady to Juan Diego

In the winter of 1531, a poor, 57-year-old Aztec Indian living five miles outside of Mexico City encountered a miraculous happening on his way to morning Mass. First he heard strange music coming from Tepeyac Hill, and then he heard a woman's voice calling his name. Juan Diego climbed the hill and encountered a young woman, appearing to be of his own people in physical appearance and dress. The woman identified herself as the Virgin Mary, and told Juan Diego to ask the bishop of Mexico City to build a church on the hill to assist in the conversion of the nation and be a source of consolation to the people.

Juan Diego obeyed the request, but the bishop was skeptical regarding the message, even though he perceived that Juan was a humble, and well meaning Catholic. Juan reported the bishop's doubt to Our Lady at Tepeyac Hill, and she asked him to return to the bishop once again, bearing the same message. The bishop once again heard the story, and told Juan Diego to ask Our Lady for a sign that it was indeed herself that wished for the church to be built.

When he returned to the hill, Mary gave Juan Diego such a sign. Miraculously, roses appeared on the hill in the middle of winter, and Juan gathered them in his tilma, or cloak. Our Lady arranged the roses in his tilma with her own hands, and Juan returned to the bishop's presence. When Juan released the tilma, allowing the flowers to fall to the floor, it was revealed that a miraculous image of Our Lady had imprinted itself on his tilma (see above).

The bishop immediately fell to his knees, and came to believe in Juan Diego's message. A church was built on the spot of the apparition, as Mary had requested, and 8 million people converted to Catholicism in a short period of time upon hearing of or viewing the miraculous image of Our Lady.

The tilma of Juan Diego has been the subject of much modern research. The tilma, woven out of coarse cactus fiber, should have disintegrated after 20 years, but although over 500 years have passed the tilma is still in perfect condition. The pupils of Mary in the picture reflect the Indians and clergy present at the time of the first revelation of the image. No paint was used, and chemical analysis has not been able to identify the color imprint. Additionally, studies have revealed that the stars on Mary's mantle match exactly what a Mexican would have seen in the sky in December of 1531.

Patron: The Americas; pro-life movement.

Things to Do:

  • Start a novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe.

  • If you live close to La Crosse, WI visit the beautiful Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe if not make a virtual visit.

  • Read more about this title of Our Lady.

  • Make a sacrifice, say a prayer or visit the Blessed Sacrament for an end to abortion.

  • If your parish is having a pro-life Mass or holy hour try to attend.

  • Have a party, which includes a procession and a special Mexican dinner to celebrate the feast.

  • See Celebrating the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe for ideas.

57 posted on 12/12/2006 10:15:05 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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Tuesday, December 12
Our Lady of Guadalupe

The Answer Beginning to Happen

Bishop Zumarraga prayed to Our Lady for help in what was an impossible situation. How could he convert a people who were too terrified of their gods to turn away from them? How could he ever unite under the banner of Christ the Spanish and the Aztecs, when there was so much reason for each to be suspicious of the other? As the Bishop prayed, Our Lady quietly appeared on an unimportant hill to a poor Aztec. At the very moment Zummarraga was longing for help, the answer was already beginning to happen. The Jewish people longed for their kingdom to be restored and to last for ever, as had been promised to the great King David. As the Jewish people prayed for a messiah to deliver them, an angel was appearing to a young girl in the little known northern town of Nazareth. As they prayed for deliverance, the answer was already beginning to happen. As we pray that God’s kingdom come through Jesus Christ, do we pray with faith that the answer to our prayers is already beginning to happen? Do we recognize the seemingly insignificant ways that God is already breaking into our lives? Are we aware that God has chosen us as those seemingly insignificant instruments through which he will manifest the coming of his Kingdom?

Reflection based on Luke 1:26-38

Father Richard Veras

Loving Father, let me be aware of all the ways that you offer yourself to me in even the least significant circumstances of my life.

58 posted on 12/12/2006 6:04:18 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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Week 2: Wednesday

"Come to Me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For My yoke is easy and My burden light." (Matthew 11:28-30)


Are there burdens I can let go of? Sometimes we make other people’s problems our own. What burdens that are not my own can I give to God? Remember the old phrase, "Let go and let God."
But, at the same time Jesus offers comfort, He asks us to take on His yoke. To be "yoked" to Jesus means that we must walk in step with Him. If we are in step with Jesus, then we can hear any burden that comes our way. Jesus, and the graces we receive through His Church, share the load every step of the way.

Advent Action

Send a card to a friend or loved one who lost a family member during this year. Let them know you are praying for them and thinking of them this Christmas.



Lord, I give over all my cares to Your most Sacred Heart that I may be at rest in You.

59 posted on 12/13/2006 9:40:10 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
2006 Advent Calendar
Spend some time today examining your life for some areas needing repentance.

60 posted on 12/13/2006 9:43:37 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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