Thought for the Week
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
FROM ST. AUGUSTINE SPIRITUALITY CENTER
December 1-7, 2019
“Put on the Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 13:14 That is what Advent is all about. It’s a time to clothe ourselves with the actions that Jesus would perform in our world today, if he were walking about. We are his hands, voice and feet today. As Christians, our faith is not something we pull out on Sunday, when we go to services. However, unfortunately, that’s about what it amounts to in many of our lives. We busy ourselves with worldly things, especially now with the frenzy of shopping and preparing for the holidays. Preparation is the right word for Advent, the anticipation of Jesus’ coming again as a small, precious child. John the Baptist hollers the words of the Prophet Isaiah, “Make ready the way of the Lord; clear him a straight path.” Luke 3:4
Yes, our path is often crooked and needs a little straightening out. Advent is a good time to do some housecleaning of our soul’s apartment. All those cobwebs of thoughtlessness, unawareness of others’ pain, forgetfulness of thanking and praising good works and just plain old self-centeredness. In Matthew 24:37-44 we are even reminded that “we must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”
St. Frances Xavier was born in Spain in the 16th century into a family of nobility. However, his great love for the poor beckoned him to serve them. St. Ignatius of Loyola invited him to join in the founding of the Jesuits. He spent the majority of his ministry in Asia; thus, he became patron of missionaries.
St. John Damascene, priest and Doctor of the Church, lived in the 7th century. He lived under Muslim rule his entire life and actually worked in government under Arab rule with his father. He then took theological studies and spent most of his life in a monastery near Jerusalem. He is best known for his clarification of honoring and remembering Mary and the saints. He disputed those who said that Christians were worshiping idols. He said that we do not attribute to saints what is due to God. We remember them, as we do anyone who has died as good and holy people who loved God in a special way.
We try to follow their example in living Jesus’ way of love and compassion.
Friday is Little Christmas. This day calls for small gifts of smiles, caring and loving actions. We remember St. Nicholas, Bishop, who lived in the 4th century in Asia. He is known for his generosity to the poor. The best known story is of his tossing a bag of gold coins into the house of poor man who had three daughters with no dowry. This action saved them from prostitution. In time he began known as Santa Claus in the Western world. We somehow have lost the true meaning of Santa Claus, as the spirit of gift giving to the poor in the name of Jesus. While teaching in California, one family always amazed me. They never gave gifts to their children at Christmas. As a family, they prepared gifts to give to the poor.
May you put on the Lord Jesus for Advent,
Sister Rosemarie Goins, Director