Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Spirit of Advent is to Watch and Pray

Written by  Fr. Deyre Azcuna
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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 507 times Last modified on Thursday, December 1, 2016

2 comments

  • Comment Link Stephen Andrews/Ireland Monday, December 26, 2016 posted by Stephen Andrews/Ireland

    “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.” (Is 9:1)

    The angel said “fear not, rejoice.” (Lk 2:10) The birth of a child is always a source of great rejoicing. (Jn 16:21) What great joy the birth of the God Man must have brought. “They rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest.” (Is 9:3). Humanity is ready for the harvest, for this moment when the Creator is “born of woman.” (Gal 4:4-8) Man, created in the image and likeness of God (Gen 1:27), grows and journeys towards the Son of God, in whom we receive the gift of His own fulfillment and in whom at the same time all creation is raised to its fullness. (Eph 1:10)

    “The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people.” (Tit 2:11). The Son of God in the stable in Bethlehem receives the gifts from the shepherds but first He Himself brings great gifts. God offers us great gifts from heaven, as the Eternal Word becomes flesh by His wondrous power. (Jn 1:1-14)

    The priceless gift of a share in the life of God, the opening of the path of eternal salvation (John 14:6-7), is the most profound source of Christmas joy.

    The Son of God, taking upon Himself our limitations (Phil 2:7), opens before our eyes the prospect of God’s infinity. (Rev 3:7-8)

    We proclaim with conviction like St. Paul the Apostle, “that neither death, nor life, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus Our Lord.” (Rom 8:38-39)

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  • Comment Link Sharon therens Monday, December 5, 2016 posted by Sharon therens

    Thank you for giving me the insight that I need to sharpen my axe and the reassurance and encouragement that small acts of love are what God wants of me during this advent season and always.

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