Dearest Eucharistic Family,
Imagine hearing Jesus say, "Do you have the time?". We glance at our watches and look up into the clouds; the world seems to disappear, and our hearts long to pray. We take yet another glance at our watches and plan out our daily activities. What we choose to do with our time makes a vast difference in the formation of our souls. Centering our lives around the Eucharist, daily Mass, and Liturgy of the Hours is a beautiful way to spend time. Adoration, rosary, and devotional time will infuse prayer time into our charity time, transforming all we do and live for—the offering of our daily duties in God's holy will, an eternal offering.
We are in the Advent Season, a time to prepare the way of the Lord. We can keep this thought of time present to us.
What inspires our prayer?
What do we live for?
Rather than questioning ourselves, we can pray about what inspires our love.
I am driven in my intercessions to rise and shine to pray for my children; although adults, the need for prayer offered for them increases all the more. Praying for our families and whomever God has appointed you to love is a mission. Our husbands, wives, children, friends, and Church families need prayer. Also, we must remember to pray for ourselves. Praying with Mary, Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, for her many intentions is a good practice.
Many things inspire my prayer; some are complex thoughts. My prayer is inspired by the horrors of our time. The idea of abortion, all the murders of the unborn, child and adult trafficking, and the pornography that has permeated our society, especially in the youth, is enough to push us to our knees with our hands raised in prayer. These thoughts drive me to daily Mass and hope in the Eucharist, where we find Jesus's promise of healing a broken humanity.
I know this is a well-known Tolkien quote. However, it is worth taking another glimpse at.
We are born to this time and this place. The Cross we have is carved out perfectly to pave our way to eternal salvation. We embrace!
The hope of true love is another inspiration for our prayer. Our dreams for the goodness of life's blessings upon our families and loved ones set our timers to awaken, to be in tune with the Kingdom of Heaven. We long for the graces God longs to give to us. The beauty of life, the appreciation of creation, the birds of the air, and the music that sings within are all blessings to behold. We all long to be acknowledged and loved by God. We are!
The value of our lives is without measure. Jesus remains with us in the Eucharist to love us. There, we find an awakening of the Holy Spirit. The gift of the Holy Spirit is the greatest to come to us for Christmas. The Wisdom of God lives in ETERNITY in a mystery of hope on this side of the heavens. We await the coming of this Kingdom, the second coming of Christ. In the meantime, the Living Word and Eucharist Incarnate to us allow us to exist in JOYFUL HOPE.
Jesus will always be present and waiting for us to spend time with Him.
We see Jesus' smile amid the tragedies with a look of compassion. The Cross reveals the Glory of Our Heavenly Father's hope for restoring our humanity. Humility wins over pride. Love conquers death. The saints figured out how to live on this side of the heavens in everlasting time. In the Eucharist, our time is held by Mary's womb, with the hope to be birthed to new hope and way of living proclaiming the greatness of our GOD!
Lord, Jesus, assist us while we have the time to worship You. Advent blessings!
Living in the West Coast of Florida, I have been blessed to watch many beautiful sunsets on the beach. Almost everyone gathered there at that time is waiting together for the same thing. As the sun descends and the symphony of colors starts to play on the sky above, little by little, everyone’s attention is drawn above. Strangers sharing this experience of awe are connected. Differences vanish as we silently agree we behold beauty. Some of us will be consciously praising the God of all creation in that moment, while others might not be aware of Him. Yet, the soul knows, and we behold.
Each time I experience one of these moments, I try to capture it. My phone automatically generated an album of these memories and named it, “The Golden Hour”. As I was looking through the pictures, it dawned on me (pun intended) that someone living on the East Coast might have a similar photo album, also named “The Golden Hour”, but theirs would have a collection of sunrises.
Would you be able to tell the difference between a picture taken at dusk from one taken at dawn? Both times of day are magnificent, displaying a symphony of colors in the sky. The difference between them is not in the position of the sun itself, but in the transition they represent for us as we move upon the earth. One marks the end of a day, while the other heralds the promise of the next.
Dusk and dawn stand as bridges between night and day.
We find ourselves at the end of a Liturgical Year and at the beginning of the next. On the last day, the Church presents us these words from Jesus to his disciples:
And then, on the first Sunday of Advent, we find Jesus telling his disciples:
Can you tell the difference between the beginning and the end?
Every end is a new beginning. Life ebbs and flows in constant change between darkness and light, between sorrow and joy. In the same way dusk and dawn draw us to look up at the beauty of the sun, the moments of transition between sorrow and joy beckon us always to look up. Whether we see our Lord being crucified or glorified, we see Beauty when we look up, for both are expressions of God’s love for us. We live in the hope that, in the end, we will be in Heaven, where there is no more sorrow and no more pain. When the sands of time run out and we persevere through the final test, we will enter the joy that will never end.
Many decades ago, I was going through some difficult times, and no matter what I did, I felt empty and aimless. I was angry and super-selfish and felt isolated and lonely, yet I could not identify how the latter was a consequence of the former. I was indeed isolated and lonely among many people because I lived mainly in my own head, and because of that, I could not empathize and connect with others correctly. I could not feel love as it was meant to.
I always had the gift of disposition toward helping others, but it was, for me, an extension of my own thoughts and needs, as opposed to a conscious show of love and compassion. I did not understand how much my innate love for God and people had been corrupted by anger and selfishness until I found, during self-examination, that I did not care for anything other than myself. And at the time, even this caring for self was up for debate. Where had my love gone? Where was my gratitude? Why didn’t I care? To live unable to feel love for others is a sad and unfulfilling life. Like muscles that have not been used in a long time, my love and appreciation had atrophied over the years, and I had not even noticed until I had a real need for them. I needed to remember what I already knew but had forgotten.
There and then, I made my decision. I prayed to God for the first time in a while and promised to learn again to be loving, kind, grateful, and faithful. I was convicted to become a better person, but I told Him unequivocally that I would need His guidance, for I did not know the way...
I will not lie and say that this miraculously happened overnight or that my life changed immediately. No, too much self-damage had been done over too long a time, and this was no “Road to Damascus” miracle like it was for Saint Paul. Sadly, those miraculous shortcuts were not made available to me.
The road to faith and kindness is as full of frustration and failure as it is full of fulfillment and success, and for us believers, it has to be transited, one day at a time. We must remember that the road is difficult but not impossible. The Father will provide what is needed, and the Holy Spirit is within us, so let us lean on the One who loves us.
To become the people of God that Christ calls us to be means we are sent to walk on the road of life daily. We need to experience the many little wins and losses, learn from every interaction, and share all of those with Christ. Every success and every failure is a pleasing offering to our Lord.
Eventually, with every affirmation of our goal, with every decision we make to be faithful and kind, our hearts are reforged, our faith enkindled, and our love mended. Patience, Kindness, Goodness, and Joy come forth as fruit of the Spirit and take hold of us. I am no saint; that is clear to me, but I want to grow to be one, and every affirmation of faith, love, and kindness gets us a little closer. It sometimes costs us some to be loving and kind, but Jesus also paid a price to love and save us. Would it not be fair then to, in gratitude, do as He did for us?
I pray daily that my life may emulate Christ’s, even if only a little bit. I pray that I may grow in kindness, love, charity, hope, and faith and go out into the world to do God’s will. After my day is over and I go to bed at night, I often think about my day, the many wins and losses, and the opportunities I had to grow closer to the goal of faithfulness, kindness, and goodness. I offer a prayer of thanks to God for the opportunities given and think of what I did with those opportunities. There is growth to be had that can help us advance on the goal of Heaven.
We look back at our actions, but only to see what we can do better and whether there is any insight to be had. We must remember to be kind and gentle to ourselves. How can we grow to be gentle and kind to others if we do not afford ourselves the same? We are all a work in progress on our journey home.
The road to faithfulness and kindness is long and arduous, but it starts like any journey… with the first conscious step. Let us consciously invite Christ to walk with us. May we all be blessed with a fruitful road to Heaven.
Let us pray: Lord, you know our lives, thoughts, and feelings. Please, let us see You as You walk with us in friendship toward the goal of eternal life with You. May we grow daily to be more faithful, kind, loving, patient, and joyful so that our brothers can see You in the way we live our lives. Amen.