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Making Room for Reality

A friend of our community shared that he had recently moved to a new house and one night his 6-year-old daughter was feeling a little scared in her new room. Dad comes to the rescue – they checked the closet – no monsters. under the bed – nothing… then he tucks her in and proceeds to tell her about all the saints and angels who were with her in the room – her guardian angel, her patron saint, etc. etc. He names quite a few.  She seems settled, so he kisses her goodnight, then leaves feeling like a proud dad.

In the morning, he goes to her room and finds her huddled at the end of the bed, shivering. It looked like she hadn’t slept much that night. He comes right in and says, “Honey, what’s wrong? Why are you at the end of the bed?” and she says- “After you told me about all those people who were here with me, I had to make room for them!”

As we begin the season of Advent, the Church invites us to make room for the hidden realities, to draw close in faith to the things we can’t see. And our Lady gives us the perfect model of this posture of faith. So I invite you this Advent to fix your gaze where she does and simply stay with her there. So I’m going to focus on 3 simple ways today – 3 P’s [Proclaim, Ponder, Participate] that put us in the posture to receive.

  1. So the first one – Proclaim – We see in our Lady’s Magnificat that she remembers what God has done and what does she do? She sings about it! Her heart is bursting in this song of praise. She knows that this is God’s work…His doing. The Blessed mother recognizes the reality of grace in her whole history, in the gifts, the mysteries; She sees His fidelity and mercy in the joys and the struggles and sings a litany in gratitude. So I invite you to pray your own Magnificat, gathering the graces of this last liturgical year… and to spend time savoring His particular love for you in your own story, in the history of your life. “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord…my spirit rejoice in God my Savior…for He has….”[fill in the blank]…” Where did you notice His love, His faithfulness, His Mercy…? let out that song in your heart of gratitude/praise…He’s eager to hear it!
  2. Remembering His goodness leads us to Ponder – During Advent, we have the great gift of pondering His own coming into our hearts and lives in a new way, like our Lady at the Annunciation…we are invited all the more deeply into the hidden places where He is truly present. To ponder and believe –He is with me as I cook, as I wait in this traffic, as I run errands, when I go in haste to serve another in love. As St. Theresa of Avila said, “Our Lord moves amidst the pots and pans”… Where did I notice His movements within me today? Our Lady teaches us to ponder His presence in the ordinary things…
  3. And the last P – Participate – I invite you to participate more intentionally in the life of grace He offers us, through the mass, the readings and prayers of the Church during this season, confession. His presence hidden in the Eucharist. To not stay on the sidelines of the rich grace He offers at every moment, but to participate. Maybe that means tucking into our Lady’s prayer and experience of Advent – praying with her rest, her hidden encounters with God within her, the experiences of her heart. Her interactions with St. Joseph, St. Elizabeth, John the Baptist, Zechariah. Spend time in prayer letting these mysteries wash over you. How is the Lord inviting you to make your own trusting “Yes” in love throughout these days?

Know of our prayers for you this Advent. God bless you!

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