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Header-Advent Learning to Wait

 

Advent is about waiting.


Who likes to wait? In this fast-paced era that we live, waiting seems like the “ninny” thing to do. Action is the “strong” thing to do. Move, lunge, act, grab, get things done–that’s “push”.

Ok. To wait a little is doable, even commendable; say…five minutes, even ten. But after that, come on! Let’s do something about it!

Of course there is the “lazy” kind of waiting, the waiting of the indolent, the slothful, those for whom any form of action spells suffering beyond endurance.

But that’s not the kind of waiting I’m talking about; not even the former; but the kind that waits with great purpose.

There are times in life, that the quality of the goal requires waiting.  Sometimes, if we reach a precious goal too quickly, we tend to undervalue it.

 

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How many times we see the very young enter marriage without due preparation, only to divorce a couple of years later? Was it the fault of the great Sacrament they entered into? Or the fact they didn’t wait long enough, and didn’t prepare sufficiently for so priceless a gift?

There was the time not so long ago, when credit cards weren’t the norm, when something precious and costly came with a lot of saving and waiting. Once purchased, the acquisition retained such value, that it was passed on as an heirloom, and became a family tradition.

Waiting with purpose is a strong thing to do, a wise thing to do.

While we wait we endure. While we wait we mature. While we wait we tame, and purify the fires of desire, and with clearer minds, adjust our perception and our expectation. If what we wait for is the “real McCoy”, we ultimately come to it with love, augmented by respect. If a“fizz-out”, we say a prayer of thanksgiving that we dodged that path.

It is so with Advent. Advent reminds us of the long historical period of waiting for the promised Messiah, the expected of Nations, the Savior, the Emmanuel, God with us.
Every Jewish child grew up under that great “wait”.

And now that Christ Jesus has come, the Church likes to remind us of that period of waiting for the greatest gift the world has ever and will ever receive, the gift of God walking in the flesh alongside us, and remaining with us in the Eucharist. 

Man prayingIn Advent, the Church invites us to take notice of that long wait for He of whom the Evangelist says:

In the beginning was the Word, and Word was with God and the Word was God…all things were made through Him, and without Him was made nothing that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” John: 1:1-4.

In Advent, the Church urges us to do two things: one, to take a break from the noise, the ceaseless activity; and two, to fight the indolence that keeps us from entering into ourselves, into that “core” of our spiritual beings where the heart meets God, and with whose help we are able to gage what in life is worth waiting for.

Let us, every Advent, learn to ask Him to teach us to prayerfully wait, to wait with purpose for all the good things His mighty hand has for us in this life and in the next.

 


By M. Taylor

 

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Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for July 14, 2020

You cannot be half a saint; you must be a whole saint or...

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July 14

 

You cannot be
half a saint;
you must be a whole saint
or no saint at all.

St. Thérèse of Lisieux


My Mother, I will stand with you on OCTOBER 10, 2020

Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Kateri Tekakwitha

Kateri stood before the church until it opened at four o’c...

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St. Kateri Tekakwitha

Tekakwitha, baptized Kateri, “The Lily of the Mohawks” was born in 1656 near the town of Auriesville, New York, the daughter of a Mohawk warrior, and a captured, Christian Algonquin woman, Tagaskouita.

Between 1661 and 1663 a small pox epidemic afflicted Kateri’s tribe. Both her parents and her brother died, and though also contracting the disease, she survived though her face was left scared and her eyesight affected. She was adopted by a paternal aunt and her husband, a chief.

At seventeen the young Mohawk girl turned down an offer of marriage, and though pressed, still refused.

Under the influence of missionary priests introduced into her tribe after the Mohawks were defeated by the French, Kateri converted to Catholicism at eighteen, and was baptized when twenty. Members of her tribe were hostile to her by reason of her Faith, but she persevered.

The Jesuit missionaries described Tekakwitha as a modest girl who covered most of her head with a blanket because of her scars.

In 1677 Kateri moved to the new Christian colony of Indians in Canada under the direction of Jesuit fathers where she found peace. There, she lived a life dedicated to prayer, penance and the care of the sick and the aged.

Every morning, even in the bitterest cold, young Kateri stood before the church until it opened at four o’clock. Once inside, she attended every Mass, her greatest devotions being the Eucharist and Christ Crucified. She undertook severe penances, seeking to mortify her flesh so as to help her soul reach union with her beloved God.

In the Lent of 1680 friends noticed that Kateri was failing. She died on Wednesday of Holy Week around three o’clock. Her last words were, “Jesus, I love You.”

As she lay still in death, those around her noticed that her scars had disappeared and her face was white and beautiful.

Pope Benedict XVI canonized Kateri Tekakwitha on October 21, 2012.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

John shared with me the story of his conversion from Protest...

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Walk to Conversion

In September, I brought the statue of Our Lady of Fatima to the home of Mr. John Black and his family in Kings City, California.  John shared with me the story of his conversion from Protestantism: about thirteen years ago he was visiting one of the 21 Spanish missions in California (though these are holy sites, they also serve as tourist attractions.)

“Who is this Junipero Serra anyways?”  he asked, as the tour guide shared the history of the mission. “Well,” the guide responded, “you are standing on his grave!”  Surprised, John looked down and read inscription on the stone. Sure enough, Blessed Father Junipero Serra was buried right there. “I became electrified,” John told me, “I had to learn more about this man and about the missions.”  The more he studied Blessed Serra, the founder of the first nine missions, the more impressed he became, and he decided to travel on-foot to all 21 missions. 

With the blessing of his wife, now left at home with their two infant sons, John left for his solo expedition, taking with him a single backpack, the bible and little money.  He told me that every mission he visited he felt the presence of someone receiving him, even if the mission was empty. He felt this ambiance in the missions so serene and uplifting, and began to realize it was the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament that made him feel so at home.

At one point, John collapsed from exhaustion near a mission run by Franciscans, who kindly hosted him for the night. Before he left the next day, one of the friars gave him a first-class relic of Blessed Serra. Since he was Protestant, John did not know what a relic was, but not wanting to appear rude, he accepted it. Not long after he left the Franciscans, John became lost in the wilderness in the middle of the night. Through his exhaustion and fear he heard a voice say, “Let’s help John.” He had the distinct feeling that Blessed Serra was guiding him, and gathered the strength and courage to continue. About six hours later, he stumbled upon the next mission. “It was kind of a miracle,” he said, “I was really lost!”

During his journey, John slowly came to a realization. “I know what you want from me, God,” he thought to himself one day, “you what me to became a Catholic. That is what this is all about!” However, he still had many questions about aspects of Catholicism that have been rejected by his Protestant faith – mainly about the Blessed Mother. Yet, from that point on he received answers to all of his questions, especially his reservations about devotion to Mary: he believed that it was once again Blessed Serra answering him.

With the help of Blessed Serra, one problem after another was resolved in the solitude of his travels. By the time John reached the final mission, he wholly decided to become a Catholic. “I realized that by having devotion to Mary, you love Our Lord even more,” he told me.

John returned home, filled with zeal and enthusiasm for his newfound faith. He shared his astonishing experiences with his wife, and she too converted. “I feel at home in the Catholic church,” John said, “and I have never loved Our Lord Jesus Christ more than I do now.”

by Joseph Ferrara

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John shared with me the story of his conversion from Protestantism: about fourteen years ago he was visiting one of the 21 Spanish missions in California 

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