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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.

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 17, 2021

The heart of man is, so to speak, the paradise of God. Since...

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April 17

 

The heart of man is, so to speak,
the paradise of God.
Since His delights are to be with you,
let yours be found in Him.

St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori

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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Stephen Harding

God answered him dramatically when thirty noblemen knocked a...

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St. Stephen Harding

Stephen Harding was an Englishman of an honorable family, and heir to a large estate. Born in Dorset, he was educated at the monastery of Sherborne and spoke English, Norman, French and Latin.

Desirous of seeking a more perfect way of Christian perfection, he, with a devout companion, traveled into Scotland and afterwards to Paris and to Rome. On their return journey, the two travelers chanced upon a collection of huts in the forest of Molesme in Burgundy, where monks lived in great austerity. Struck by their way of life and finding kindred spirits in Robert the Abbot, and Alberic the Prior, he bid his friend goodbye and threw in his lot with the monks.

After some years, finding that religious fervor had waned considerably, Stephen, Robert, Alberic and others went to Lyons and with the support of Bishop Hugh struck a new foundation in the forest of Citeaux sponsored by Rainald, Lord of Beaune, and Odo, Duke of Burgundy.

Later Robert returned to his monks of Molesme who reclaimed him as their abbot, and upon the death of Alberic, in 1109, Stephen succeeded him as Abbot of Citeaux.

He immediately instituted such austere measures to keep the spirit of the world out that he alienated the support of many who had helped to establish the abbey. Novices ceased applying, and to make matters worse, a mysterious disease decimated his monks to the point that even Stephen’s stout heart began to quiver wondering if he were really doing God’s will.

God answered him dramatically when thirty noblemen knocked at the abbey’s door seeking admittance. They were headed by young St. Bernard who in his zeal had convinced his brothers, uncles and a number of his acquaintances to give up the world with him.

Increasing numbers called for additional foundations and the first two were made at Morimond and Clairvaux. To the general surprise, Stephen appointed twenty-four-year-old Bernard as Abbot of Clairvaux. When nine abbeys had sprung from Citeaux, Stephen drew up the statutes of his Charter of Charity which officially organized the Cistercians into an order.

Stephen Harding died in 1134, advanced in age and nearly blind, and having served as Abbot of Cîteaux for twenty-five years.

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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