Ignatian MinistriesCampus Ministry /  Advent Reflections

Advent Reflections

During this Advent season, we are  pleased to share
daily reflections with the Fordham Prep community.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Advent- A Prayer for Christmas Eve

Loving God, Help us remember the birth of Jesus, that we may share in the song of the angels, the gladness of the shepherds, and worship of the wise men. Close the door of hate and open the door of love all over the world. Let kindness come with every gift and good desires with every greeting. Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings, and teach us to be merry with clear hearts.

May the Christmas morning make us happy to be thy children, and Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts, forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus' sake. Amen.

Robert Louis Stevenson

Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones.

 

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Advent- Come, Lord Jesus


For some of us, Christmas inevitably means family conflicts.  Facing the days ahead, whether it be the last few remaining parties, or conflicting demands of family and friends.

For some of us, Christmas challenges us with terrible financial burdens.  Children today become victims of the gross commercial exploitation of the day.  For those of us struggling to make ends meet on a day to day basis, feeling the cultural pressure of buying for our children things which we can't afford, can lead us to put more debt on the credit card in ways that simply push us further and further behind.

Some of us, might be really looking forward to Christmas, and not be aware of these struggles with Christmas, yet feel that, in spite of our best efforts to make Advent different this year, there is still something missing, and we still feel unready for Christmas.

For all of us, the story behind these days can draw us in, and invite us to bring our lives to the mystery of how Jesus came into this world and why.  Our best preparation for the Holy Night ahead and the Joyful Morning to follow is for us to reflect upon how he came. He came in the midst of scandal and conflict.  He came in poverty. He was rejected before he was born. He was born in a feed trough. He was hunted down. And he grew up in obscurity.

He did not shun our world and its poverty and conflict.  He embraced it. And he desires to embrace us today, in this day.  Right where we are. Right where we are feeling most distant. Right where we are feeling least “religious” or “ready.”  If we let him come into our hearts to be our Savior these challenging days, we will find ourselves entering the sacred night and morning of Christmas “joyful and triumphant” as never before.

Come, Lord Jesus.  Come and visit your people.  

We await your coming.  Come, O Lord.

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Saturday, December 22, 2018

Advent- Alleluia People

If we truly have faith in God and His promises and place all our hope in Him and not in ourselves, if we seek to imitate the Father and the Son and the Spirit in being nothing but love focused beyond ourselves, we must be the Alleluia people we proclaim ourselves to be at the Easter Vigil, light in the darkness, pointing to the Eternal Light.

Be joy then, be love and hope for the world in the name of the Lord whom we await.

Chas Kestermeier, SJ

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Friday, December 21, 2018

Advent- How do we wait?

How do we wait? Whether we wait faithfully and trustingly, or with confusion and puzzlement, or a little bit of both, God still comes to be with us. Like Israel, we can remember how God has been lovingly with us in the past. Like Mary, we can trust humbly and hopefully that God will be with us in the future.

We wait in expectation, noticing the signs of the divine present now in the world around us. Where do we notice glimpses of the light? Who are the angels among us? And what are we pondering in our hearts as we wait?

Marina McCoy, Loyola Press

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Thursday, December 20, 2018

Advent- Praying with Mary


The very essence of prayer is recognizing that God is with us. That is the meaning of one of the Lord’s names, one that we hear over and again in Advent, Emmanuel. The Lord is with Mary. The Lord is with us.

What does it take for us to pause amidst the busyness of this season of preparation—between the shopping and decorating, the family gatherings and holiday parties? Mary’s life is dramatically interrupted by the visitation of an angel and a miraculous conception. How do I hear the angelic messenger, that still, small voice of God (1 Kings 19:12) in my days? What does God wish to conceive in me? How does God want to use my flesh to incarnate the living Christ?

Chris Sullivan, Loyola Press

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Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Advent Anticipation

To  ask how well we wait is the same as asking how well we “do” Advent. Are we tempted with the increasing commercialization of Christmas to skip over Advent altogether? This season, promise yourself to take up one Advent tradition with new fervor. Investigate its origin and meaning. Allow the Holy Spirit to refresh a Catholic imagination within you and to remind you that you are an integral, irreplaceable part of a much larger and more important story. You live in a world brimming with sacramental promise because of the Child born in Bethlehem.

Our Advent refrain must be “Wait for the Lord! Be strong, take courage, and wait for the Lord!” Even as economies crumble, and tumult and suffering seem to reign, all our waiting will end. Christmas is coming. We will see goodness, the goodness of the Lord.

Elizabeth M. Kelly, Loyola Press

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Additional Advent resources can be found at http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/advent

 

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Advent- Holy Silence

This Advent, we might also see whether God invites us to enter more deeply into times of silence. In the quiet, God is still at work. God’s power exceeds our own ability to name, to capture, or to control the events in our lives. In entering into silence, we enter more deeply into God’s mystery. Like Zechariah, we learn to trust in God’s transforming power taking place in the as-yet-unknown.

Marina McCoy, Loyola Press

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Additional Advent resources can be found at http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/advent


Monday, December 17, 2018

Advent- Prayer and Serenity

Kingdom dwellers anchored in the Prince of Peace are capable of navigating stormy waters without fear. In reality, every human being is grounded—centered—in God who created us and sustains us. Unfortunately, our awareness of this groundedness fluctuates in the face of life’s turmoil. The result is the loss of peace and contentment.  

A key to maintaining this peace and contentment is prayer—especially contemplative prayer, which takes to heart the Scriptural exhortation, “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46) Prayer does not create a bubble around us to prevent bad things from happening, but rather helps us to place our trust in God who will uphold us through the moments of turmoil. We do not pray to escape reality but rather to remain in touch with a deeper reality.

Joe Paprocki, Loyola Press

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Additional Advent resources can be found at http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/advent

A special Advent Wednesday Morning Prayer with St. Ignatius is held each Wednesday in the Prep Chapel at 8:45 am.  Register

 

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Advent- Gaudete Sunday

Our week begins with “Gaudete Sunday.” Gaudete means “rejoice” in Latin.  It comes from the first word of the Entrance antiphon on Sunday.  The spirit of joy that begins this week comes from the words of Paul, “The Lord is near.”  This joyful spirit is marked by the third candle of our Advent wreath, which is rose colored, and the rose colored vestments often used at the Eucharist.

We prepare this week by feeling the joy.  We move through this week feeling a part of the waiting world that rejoices because our longing has prepared us to believe the reign of God is close at hand.  And so we consciously ask:

Prepare our hearts
and remove the sadness
that hinders us from feeling
the joy and hope
which his presence
will bestow.

Each night this week we want to pause in gratitude.  Whatever the day has brought, no matter how busy it has been, we can stop, before we fall asleep, to give thanks for a little more light, a little more freedom to walk by that light, in joy.

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Additional Advent resources can be found at http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/advent

A special Advent Wednesday Morning Prayer with St. Ignatius is held each Wednesday in the Prep Chapel at 8:45 am.  Register


Saturday, December 15, 2018

Advent- A Heart Filled with Love

Maybe St.Paul gives us a clue about how to let the Holy Spirit enter more deeply into our lives, one that is consistent with our daily Examen of Conscience, when he prays that we learn to “discern what is of value” from a heart that is filled with love instead of animosity. The practice of discernment is not an easy task but it is something we should strive to incorporate more and more into our daily. When we are engaged with someone, whether through business or personal interactions, we should try and view them and our conversation with an open heart, not one closed off by presupposed feelings or prejudices. And this is doubly true with spouses and family.

All too often we pick the smallest of “hills to die on” because our hearts are closed off and we have not let the Holy Spirit take control. Through the daily practice of discernment, we can grow closer to God, so we can learn to take notice when our actions and personal motives are interfering with our freedom to live our lives in faith, hope and love.

Steve Scholer, Creighton University

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Additional Advent resources can be found at http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/advent

A special Advent Wednesday Morning Prayer with St. Ignatius is held each Wednesday in the Prep Chapel at 8:45 am.  Register


Friday, December 14, 2018

Advent- A Habit of Hope

As St. Paul reminds us, “Hoping for what we cannot see means awaiting it

with patient endurance” (Romans 8:25). Each Advent, as I wait for the Child who brought us the hope that never fades, I give thanks.

Joan Wester Anderson, Loyola Press

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Additional Advent resources can be found at http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/advent

A special Advent Wednesday Morning Prayer with St. Ignatius is held each Wednesday in the Prep Chapel at 8:45 am.  Register


Thursday, December 13, 2018

Advent- God’s Love for me

Have you ever been moved by the sight of a mom or dad holding the hand of their toddler as they walk on the sidewalk or cross the street?  For whatever reason, that image grabs a part of me that readily recognizes the beauty of parental love in all its simplicity. I seem to be led to recognize that scene as an image of God’s wonderful care for all of creation.  The parent easily represents God’s care and love. At times like this I sometimes find myself seeped in the greatest of all realities: God’s love.

How might I respond to the insanely profound love God has for me?  I know myself and see the unlovable in me. Yet God is blind to that and seeks to look deeper and find a core down deep in me that he sees and loves.  Also, he invites me to join him in order to experience God’s love/care simply and humbly as God’s gift to me. I am good, not because I “do good things”, but simply because I am, and God invites me to view myself as God views me – with love and grace

Fr. Tom Shanahan, S.J., Creighton University

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Additional Advent resources can be found at http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/advent

A special Advent Wednesday Morning Prayer with St. Ignatius is held each Wednesday in the Prep Chapel at 8:45 am.  Register


Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Advent- Waiting

For the Second Week of Advent, writer and theologian Tim Muldoon shares his thoughts about waiting in this video reflection.

Additional Advent resources can be found at http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/advent

A special Advent Wednesday Morning Prayer with St. Ignatius is held each Wednesday in the Prep Chapel at 8:45am.  Register


Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Advent- Make straight the paths

It’s Advent. Jesus is near. With the rest of the people of God you are out in the wilderness waiting for him to appear. How can you make straight the paths of your own life? Be open to a change of heart, to letting yourself be turned in a new direction. To what new roles—perhaps unexpected ones—does your life, like John’s, point? Could it be to bring some forgiveness and peace to yourself, your family, your friends, your coworkers, the world?

The answers may be hidden just beneath the waters, waiting to surface.

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Additional Advent resources can be found at http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/advent

A special Advent Wednesday Morning Prayer with St. Ignatius is held each Wednesday in the Prep Chapel at 8:45 am.  Register


Monday, December 10, 2018

Advent- 4 Gifts of Advent

The four weeks of Advent are a time of spiritual preparation that begins with an awareness of our own longing and leads us to a deeper openness to the many gifts God wants to give us. The gift for the second week of Advent is that God speaks a reassuring word of comfort in the midst of our discontent and longing. In this quiet season—a season we tend to fill up with a lot of noise and frantic activity—make time daily to listen for the comforting words of God in your life. Probably the quickest way to begin hearing those words is to create a daily gratitude list. Set aside five minutes each morning or evening and take a few deep breaths. When you are settled, start jotting down whatever comes to your mind that you are grateful for. With a heart full of gratitude, everything else in our lives will change. We will begin to see, even in the demands of our Christmas preparations, the real purpose of those efforts—celebrating the Lord's arrival in our life and the lives of those we love.
- Loyola Press

Read about the other three gifts here

Additional Advent resources can be found at http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/advent

A special Advent Wednesday Morning Prayer with St. Ignatius is held each Wednesday in the Prep Chapel at 8:45 am.  Register


Sunday, December 9, 2018

Advent- Prepare the Way

This Second Sunday of Advent, we do not simply hear about the prophet John; in hearing the Word ourselves, we are called to live prophetically and to prepare the way all around us.
Click here for a video reflection on Mattia Preti’s painting “St. John the Baptist Preaching,” circa 1665

Additional Advent resources can be found at http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/advent

A special Advent Wednesday Morning Prayer with St. Ignatius is held each Wednesday in the Prep Chapel at 8:45 am.  Register


Saturday, December 8, 2018

Advent- Mary’s “Yes”

Mary, in the midst of your life, you heard your call. In hearing it, you were told, “Do not be afraid.” (Luke 1:30) In the busyness of your life, God offered you an invitation. On one ordinary evening, you were able to say “yes.”

In this season of Advent, when we celebrate your ability to hear God’s invitation and respond positively, I ask that you pray for us. Pray that we, too, may have hearts tuned to God’s voice. Pray that we might be comforted the way the angel Gabriel comforted you. Pray that we, too, can respond to God’s invitations in our lives so that we might continue to bring light into the world the way you did by offering us the greatest light, Jesus. Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.

Becky Eldridge, Loyola Press

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Additional Advent resources can be found at http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/advent

A special Advent Wednesday Morning Prayer with St. Ignatius is held each Wednesday in the Prep Chapel at 8:45am.  Register

community.

Best Regards,

Brian Carney
Vice President for Mission & Identity

 

Friday, December 7, 2018

Advent- Waiting in Hope

Advent, a time of waiting in hope. This hope is not simply wishful thinking or an optimism that things will turn out okay. Our hope is based on God’s promise of salvation and on the faith that God will not let us down.

I realized that one very important thing that makes advent a hopeful time is the fact that I know that the Incarnation already happened, that God is with us, that God’s promise has been fulfilled and that God’s kingdom has started with Jesus.  T

Another thing that struck me, was Jesus’ line to the blind men in the gospel passage:

"Do you believe that I can do this?"

"Let it be done for you according to your faith." (Vv. 28, 30)

I would like to invite us to ponder these two lines in light of everything that might be worrying or overwhelming us and ask for a stronger faith.

  • Mariana Miller, Creighton University

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Additional Advent resources can be found at http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/advent

A special Advent Wednesday Morning Prayer with St. Ignatius is held each Wednesday in the Prep Chapel at 8:45am.  Register


Thursday, December 6, 2018

Advent- Simple Practices

Most of us go for a coffee or tea break with friends from time to time. Why not add one simple aspect to such a date? Sometime during Advent, take half an hour for that coffee or tea break with a couple of friends or coworkers. As you’re sipping and relaxing, ask one another these questions:

  • What gives you reason to hope?

  • What are you looking forward to?

Advent is, after all, about hope and promise and looking forward to what is about to come to us. We so naturally fall into conversations about what’s going wrong in the world and about what worries or angers us. For just one coffee date, shift the conversation.

Vinita Hampton Wright, Loyola Press

See More suggestions for simple practices during Advent here

Additional Advent resources can be found at http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/advent

A special Advent Wednesday Morning Prayer with St. Ignatius is held each Wednesday in the Prep Chapel at 8:45am.  Register

 

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Receiving Advent

As I begin Advent every year now, I start with the realization that I need to let go of any and all spiritual impediments I’m hanging onto. Advent is a time of receiving. It’s hard to receive if your hands are clasped shut. So I begin Advent once again with this prayer: Holy Spirit of God, open my hands, my eyes, my ears, all my senses, and all of my heart so I will be ready to receive your Advent blessings.

And then I sit there in the Advent darkness, my hands open before me, waiting on God.
 - Tom McGrath, Loyola Press

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Additional Advent resources can be found at http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/advent

A special Advent Wednesday Morning Prayer with St. Ignatius is held each Wednesday in the Prep Chapel at 8:45am.  Register


Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Advent- What are you longing for?

What are you longing for? What is your heart trying to tell you? The gift God offers this first week of Advent is the invitation to explore your inner longings. The Church, through our Advent customs, and even the weather of the season itself support such inner work. During the first week of Advent, give yourself time and space to contemplate what you are truly longing for in life. Know that this is the season when your longings will lead you to the Christ Child, in whom the hopes and fears of all the years are known and responded to with generous love.

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Additional Advent resources can be found at http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/advent


A special Advent Wednesday Morning Prayer with St. Ignatius is held each Wednesday in the Prep Chapel at 8:45am. Register

 

Monday, December 3, 2018

Advent Reflection- Practicing Hope

We have a season in which to give our faith a workout, in which to exercise our hope muscles. Some years make that exercise more difficult than others. But it’s Advent now, and, as people of faith, we are called upon to exercise our hope.

If hope isn’t created for times such as these—when countries are divided, when civil war annihilates whole communities and sends refugees fleeing, when hungry children are ignored because their interests are of no interest to powerful entities, when human beings are trafficked by the thousands to be used for sex or cheap labor, when industry and wealth win over the health of the planet and all its creatures and the global community—if hope isn’t created for times such as these, then why have hope at all?

So let’s try Advent once again. Let’s practice a hopeful way of being in the world.

- Vinita Hampton Wright, Loyola Press

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Additional Advent resources can be found at http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/advent

Join us for our annual Advent Supper this Thursday at 6:30PM in the Prep Commons. Register

A special Advent Wednesday Morning Prayer with St. Ignatius is held each Wednesday in the Prep Chapel at 8:45am. Register

 

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Today’s reflection comes from Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan

So there are three comings of Jesus. Christ did come in the past, Christ does come right now, and Christ will come in the future. If you don’t mind me saying it in a more poetic way, Our Lord comes to us in history, mystery, and majesty. He came in history as the Holy Infant of Bethlehem. He comes to us now in mystery — in word, sacrament, grace, and mercy. He will come in majesty at the end of the world as judge of the living and the dead. Christ comes in history, mystery, and majesty.  
There is a beautiful traditional prayer for the Season of Advent. It is a prayer that is found in the New Testament and in an ancient document of the early Church called the Didache. It is a simple prayer, but one that can be prayed anytime: “Come, Lord Jesus!”
Repeat this prayer often during this Season of Advent and you will recognize with the eyes of faith that, in praying it sincerely, Our Lord has already answered it, will answer it, and will answer it again. “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20).

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Additional Advent resources can be found at http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/advent.


Join us for our annual Advent Supper this Thursday at 6:30 pm in the Prep Commons.  Register


A special Advent Wednesday Morning Prayer with St. Ignatius is held each Wednesday in the Prep Chapel at 8:45 am.  Register

 

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