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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 April 2, 2020

Do not grieve over the temptations you suffer. When   ...

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April 2

Do not grieve over the temptations you suffer.
When the Lord intends
to bestow a particular virtue on us,
He often permits us first to be tempted by the opposite vice.
Therefore, look upon every temptation as an invitation
to grow in a particular virtue and
a promise by God that you will be successful,
if only you stand fast.

St. Philip Neri


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

Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Francis of Paola

Francis explained that the lives of kings are in the hands o...

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St. Francis of Paola

Born in Paola, a small town in Calabria, Francis’ parents were humble, industrious people, dedicated to the service of God. Childless after several years of marriage, the couple prayed earnestly for a son, and when, at last a boy was born to them, the grateful parents named him Francis after the Poverello of Assisi.

At age thirteen Francis was placed in the Franciscan friary of S. Marco where he learned to read and where he began to tread the austere life he was later to live.

Two years later, after a pilgrimage to Assisi and Rome, and with his parents’ consent, Francis retired to a remote location by the sea where he lived in a cave. Before he was twenty, he was joined by two others who also sought a life of prayer in solitude. With help from some neighbors, they built for themselves three cells and a chapel where they sang the divine praises.

Seventeen years later a church and monastery were built on the spot for them with the approval of the bishop of Cosenza. The hermits were so beloved of the people that the whole countryside joined in the work.

Penance, charity, humility. This trinity formed the foundation of Francis of Paola’s rule, which was particularly austere. In addition to the vows of obedience, poverty and chastity, he imposed a fourth binding them to observe a perpetual Lent, abstaining not only from meat, but also from eggs and milk products.

The community received Papal approval in 1474, and in 1492 from being called Hermits of St. Francis of Assisi, they became the “Minims” from their founder’s desire to be known as the least (minim) in the kingdom of God.

Francis of Paola became universally renowned as a wonderworker and prophet. In 1481, King Louis XI of France, who was slowly dying, sent a messenger to the saint begging him to hasten to France to heal him. Francis only acquiesced at the command of the Holy Father to whom the monarch ultimately appealed. At the French court the king fell on his knees before the humble hermit begging for his healing. Francis explained that the lives of kings are in the hands of God and have their appointed limits; prayer should be addressed to God. Ultimately, changed in heart, the king died resignedly in the saint’s arms. In gratitude, his son, Charles VIII, became a great sponsor of the Order.

Francis spent twenty-five years in France and died there on Good Friday of the year 1507 at the age of ninety-one. He was canonized in 1519.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

I turned to God, but God seems to remain deaf to me. Why is...

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Why Doesn't God Answer My Prayer?

Question:  I pray and pray, but I feel as if God is not listening. We always had a good, peaceful family life, but these last years have been tough. We don’t seem to be getting along and our finances have taken a turn for the worse.

I am so anxious about this situation that, not having anyone to turn to, I turned to God.

But God seems to remain deaf to me. Why is that? In addition, what do I say to certain people, agnostics and atheists, who laugh at prayer, saying it is nonsensical and only a figment of the imagination with no real value?

Answer:  God is faithful to His promises, and God promised to answer our prayers. “And I tell you, ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (Luke 11:9–10).

If God promises to answer our prayers, He will do so infallibly. But in prayer there are two sides: he who asks and He Who gives.

Our part is to ask. How must we ask?

Saint Alphonsus Liguori, a Doctor of the Church, teaches in his book Prayer, the Great Means of Salvation that prayer must be persevering and humble.

So many times we hear people saying: “Oh, I used to ask God for this and that and the other, but He never gave it to me. Now, ten years later, how glad I am that He didn’t!”

One thing is certain: God will not fail to answer a humble and perseverance prayer. Whether He chooses to grant what we ask immediately or make us wait, we must trust that He, regardless of appearances, is doing us good. What we think is good and what He thinks is good may be two different things: “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor your ways My ways” (Isa. 55:8), but here is where we must abandon ourselves to His beneficent will. Our part is to be patient, calm and, above all, faithful, because this is the time for testing and later will come the time for full enjoyment.


Answering Atheists and Agnostics
As for atheists and agnostics, their skepticism proceeds from the fact that they, respectively, deny God’s existence or deny men’s capacity to know God.

In this case, we can only express our regret over their ignorance of this Supreme Being, our omnipotent Creator and loving Savior.

We may direct them to a few sources that may help in their search for the truth of His existence. Atheism and agnosticism can only be sustained in ignorance or ill will because the evidence of God’s existence is overwhelming.

Moreover, God will not hide Himself from those who seek Him sincerely and unconditionally.

Another consideration pertaining to non-believers is this: If God were to grant us absolutely everything we ask at a moment’s notice, such people might start believing purely out of self-interest.

They would look at God as a wand-wielding wizard. And God Our Lord is infinitely more than that. He wants us to know, love, and serve Him for Himself so that He can treat us as children and heirs and grant us unending happiness in Heaven.

"My impression is that the Rosary is of the greatest value not only according to the words of Our Lady of Fatima, but according to the effects of the Rosary one sees throughout history. My impression is that Our Lady wanted to give ordinary people, who might not know how to pray, this simple method of getting closer to God."  Sister Lucia, one of the seers of Fatima.

 

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I turned to God, but God seems to remain deaf to me. Why is that? In addition, what do I say to certain people, agnostics and atheists,

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