Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Spirit of Advent is to Watch and Pray

Written by  Fr. Deyre Azcuna

 

During Advent we must watch in our hearts and look at ourselves; how the year made us better or worse. The Lord is not finished with us.

If we stay alert to the presence of Christ, recognizing His authority and following His ways, we live in hope - not wishful thinking, but a hope that's based firmly in reality.

We Need to be Wakeful and Watchful
We are so future-oriented that we frequently forget the present entirely. We spend too much time trying to protect ourselves against future misfortunes. People save for a rainy day, to get married, to buy a home, to send the children to college, to retire in comfort and to protect themselves against future misfortunes with varieties of insurance. But we need to be more spiritually wakeful to prepare for our eternal life. Let us make this Advent season the time of such preparation. 

There was once a very strong woodcutter who asked for a job with a timber merchant and got it. The wages the timber merchant paid were very good and so were the work conditions. For that reason, the woodcutter was determined to do his best. His boss gave him an axe and showed him the area where he was supposed to work. The first day the woodcutter brought 18 trees. “Congratulations” the boss said “go on that way.” Very motivated by the words of the boss, the woodcutter tried harder the next day, but he could only bring 15 trees. The third day he tried even harder but brought only 10 trees. Day after day he was bringing fewer and fewer trees. “I must be losing my strength,” the woodcutter thought. He went to the boss and apologized, saying he could not understand what was going on. “When was the last time you sharpened your axe?” The boss asked. “Sharpen? I had no time to sharpen my axe. I have been very busy trying to cut trees.” 

We may be busy with so many things, we may have neglected our spiritual life. Like the axe that needs sharpening, we also need to sharpen our spirit. Let us sharpen our spirit this Advent by becoming more loving, more prayerful, more compassionate, more generous and more faithful. Life is not about finding yourself! Life is about recreating yourself! Advent is God's marvelous gift to all of us. Let this season unfold slowly and nicely.

An Advent Project: How to be Alert and Watchful? 
Every morning when we get up, let us pray, “Lord, show me someone today with whom I may share your love, mercy and forgiveness.” St. Teresa of Calcutta (Mother Teresa), once said, “Whatever you do in your family, for your children, for your husband, for your wife, you do for Jesus.” Every night when we go to bed, let us ask ourselves, “Where have I found Christ today?” The answer will be God’s Advent gift to us that day. By being alert and watchful, we’ll be getting an extra gift: Christ himself. There is a saying about being saved which goes back to St. Thomas Aquinas: “Without God, I can't. Without me, He won't.” 

Read 677 times Last modified on Thursday, December 1, 2016