We all have an inner discontent that we feel, an inner thirst, an expectation of fullness that we haven’t yet achieved, a yearning and a longing for something. Remarkably, no matter how much we have or experience, no matter how good, never fully satisfies our thirst. We shouldn’t be afraid of this inner angst; rather, it’s good to recognize and embrace it, and recall that life itself has an advent dimension to it. Part of life is a longing for God to act. We are made for God and so we yearn for him. But we need to wait to experience God fully.
Saint Augustine expresses it best. “The entire life of a good Christian is in fact an exercise in holy desire. You do not see what you long for, but the very act of desire prepares you, so that when He comes, you may see and be utterly satisfied. By making us wait, God increases our desire, which in turn, enlarges the capacity of our soul, making it able to receive what is to be given to us.”
John the Baptist is a prominent figure during the Advent season. We see him announcing the coming of the Messiah along the banks of the Jordan, washing people in baptism, and not holding back any words in calling people to conversion.
I believe God sends John the Baptists into our lives. People, places, circumstances, events, moments that remind us: Jesus is here, Jesus is coming, Jesus lives. More…
If we’ve been living Advent with interest, we’ve probably prepared the nativity scene (minus the Christ child), prepared Advent candles, listened attentively to the readings and beautiful liturgical prayers at Mass, and perhaps taken a little extra time for spiritual reading and retreat, in order to prepare ourselves to celebrate Christ’s birth at Christmas.
Today’s second Advent tip is simply to call to mind that we aren’t just preparing with expectation for Christmas but also for Jesus’ coming again in glory. We don’t know the day or the hour. It could be tonight; it could be tomorrow; it could be in ten thousand years; we could still be numbered among the first Christians. But he will come again, and it’s good to remind ourselves to look forward to that event as much as we look forward to Christmas.
The time leading up to Christmas is often packed with things to do, people to see, gifts to be wrapped, cards to send, travels to be planned, and parties to attend. This is all well and good and even important. It can even be helpful, if we live it properly. More…
Fr Jason Smith LC
One of the joys of my priesthood has been witnessing how God’s grace is stronger than any vice or addiction.
Given the large number of people struggling today with Internet porn, I thought it would be helpful to offer some of the tips I often give as a spiritual director to help people overcome it. More…
Fr Jason Smith LC
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