Friday, December 3, 2010

Advent-- He comes toward us

 Well, friends, this is my first posting with my new computer. What a blessing! It does whatever I ask it to do! A novel idea.

 I am in the midst of doing two things as this Advent gets underway. One is our parish's annual novena for the Immaculate Conception. Simultaneously, I am reading and praying through the Total Consecration to Mary, by St. Louis de Montfort. I am so thankful, firstly, to God and the Church for providing these devotions, and to Father Check and our parish, for nurturing our devotion by promoting these practices. I know I would not have the impetus on my own steam, if not guided and given the structures to follow. 

  I am humbled and chastened daily. Something I need, but all this is done so gently and lovingly that I only come away blessed and at peace, not at all saddened or disappointed in myself. That's the way I believe, one really knows the hand of God; that whenever we become aware of a measure of our own sin, it is delivered with such a tender, encouraging hand, that we can only respond in gratitude. It is then we know we have been given the grace to change things in ourselves that, under other circumstances, we would find impossible. We know He deserves all the credit for these moments.

 In my search for joy, peace, courage, wisdom, strength, and charity, I cherish the moments that my Lord reaches through my small attempts to grow an inch in holiness and assist me by removing even the smallest of motes from my eye that I couldn't remove myself. Don't get me wrong! I need lots more than a mote removed. But I am thankful for the mote. 

I am looking forward to this Christmas, as I always am, but because of this time I got to spend in a bit of preparation, I can carry the peace and joy through to regular life, and hopefully, to others.

This is a song my husband and I are busily trying to recruit a few "extras" to do this Christmas. :) It sets just the perfect tone for getting ready for His coming. At one of our novenas, Father Kelley went into his teaching mode (which I rather like :) and taught us that the word Advent  means "He comes toward." what a beautiful image, to think of Him always moving toward us. Father explained that only in Christianity, do we have a God that comes to us. In all other religions, it is the people who seek after Him. What a blessing to know that our God is always seeking after us.

What Sweeter Music
What sweeter music can we bring
Than a carol, for to sing
The birth of this our heavenly King?
Awake the voice! Awake the string!
Dark and dull night, fly hence away,
And give the honor to this day,
That sees December turned to May.
Why does the chilling winter’s morn
Smile, like a field beset with corn?
Or smell like a meadow newly-shorn,
Thus, on the sudden? Come and see
The cause, why things thus fragrant be:
‘Tis He is born, whose quickening birth
Gives life and luster, public mirth,
To heaven, and the under-earth.
We see him come, and know him ours,
Who, with his sunshine and his showers,
Turns all the patient ground to flowers.
The darling of the world is come,
And fit it is, we find a room
To welcome him. The nobler part
Of all the house here, is the heart.
Which we will give him; and bequeath
This holly, and this ivy wreath,
To do him honour, who’s our King,
And Lord of all this revelling.
What sweeter music can we bring,
Than a carol for to sing
The birth of this our heavenly King?
Robert Herrick (1591-1674)
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