Ignatian MinistriesCampus Ministry /  Advent Reflections

Advent Reflections

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

Best Regards,

Brian Carney
Vice President for Mission Integration & Planning

Sunday, December 15 2019

Advent Reflection- Fr. Greg Boyle’s Sunday “To- be” List

  1. I want to be less eager to win the argument.

  2. I want to be reverent for the complexity of things.

  3. I want to be more tender so that folks feel less far away.

  4. I want to be that person who knows how to look underneath and know where the thorn is.

  5. I want to be standing with the demonized so that the demonizing stops.

  6. I want to be mystical so I can see people in their wholeness.

  7. I want to be that person who can cherish what terrifies me.

  8. I want to be aligned with the “disposable” so that the day will come when we stop throwing people away.

  9. I want to be welcoming of my own wound so I am never tempted to despise the wounded.

  10. I want to be one who knows, deeply, the God of love…so I can “fire the other gods.”

Fr. Greg Boyle, SJ is the founder of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, Calif., the largest gang intervention, rehabilitation, and re-entry program in the world. Father Boyle is the author of the 2010 New York Times-bestseller Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion.  His latest book, Barking to the Choir: The Power of Radical Kinship, was published in 2017. 

Join us this Wednesday for our final Advent Morning Prayer with St. Ignatius in the Prep Chapel at 8:45 am.  Register

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Advent Reflection- Making Room

When soul-cleaning, I always turn to St. Ignatius Loyola, because he was a master of staying on top of the spiritual clutter. He advocated for a process of deciding whether to keep something or let it go, part of the process he called “discernment of spirits.” He taught his followers to ask in a consistent and disciplined manner: Is there anything getting in the way of my relationship with God? Are there any inordinate attachments cluttering up my heart or soul that might impede my spiritual progress?

Just as we do when we sort through the contents of our homes, we may discern every movement of our hearts. When discerning in the spiritual life, Ignatius teaches us to ask ourselves: Am I clinging to what I want or making room for what God wants? Does this bring me closer to God? Does this bring glory to God? If not, we get rid of it. So thorough was Ignatius’s ability to purge all that was not of God, that he even advised in his Spiritual Exercises that, “We should not fix our desires on health or sickness, wealth or poverty, success or failure, a long life or a short one” (SE 23).

St. Ignatius’s soul-cleaning method is based on a complete trust in God’s goodness. He was able to make ample room to welcome God into his soul, because he knew from experience that what God wants for each of us is far more than we could ever store up for ourselves. The result of his diligence was a pristine spiritual space with plenty of room for the Lord to operate.  - Rebecca Ruiz, Loyola Press

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Join us next Wednesday for our final Advent Morning Prayer with St. Ignatius in the Prep Chapel at 8:45am.  Register


Friday, December 13, 2019

Advent Reflection- Advent Waiting

As this part of the world moves deeper into winter, I can find the shortened days and longer nights to be, well, dark and sometimes aching. John’s Gospel, though, tells us, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5). God has already given us the one who loves, redeems, and heals the world. Indeed, for us, unlike for Mary and Joseph, Jesus has already come into the world. We have the experience of the entire Church community who has encountered the living Christ before us to give us hope. We also have our own individual past experiences of where God has been present. God’s light and love always shine through whatever kinds of darkness that we might encounter: illness, grief, injustice, worries about work or relationships, spiritual aridity or darkness. So, we wait with hope. We wait with one another and not alone.

Marina McCoy, Loyola Press

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Join us next Wednesday for our final Advent Morning Prayer with St. Ignatius in the Prep Chapel at 8:45 am.  Register


Thursday, December 12, 2019

Advent Reflection- 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
Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Advent Reflection- I will give you rest.

What we do hear is “…Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves.” Jesus is saying to us, I will teach you how to carry your own burdens. I will help you carry your burdens. Watch, listen and learn from me.  Jesus wants us to come to him, invite him into our hearts, share our joys and sorrows with him. Let Me in, I can help you. Isaiah says “He (God) does not faint or grow weary…” as we often do.  Jesus is meek, humble, gentle, kind and compassionate.  He too lived in faith and hope in his Father. He too labored and grew weary.  He too carried burdens and labored. Jesus’ invitation is to ‘come’, be with me in my burdens and I will be with you in yours.  We will walk together. Isaiah reminds us, “They that hope in the Lord will renew their strength…” Jesus says, “I will give you rest”.

  • by Joan Blandin Howard, Creighton University's Christian Spirituality Program

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Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Advent Reflection- Make Straight the Paths

John didn’t recognize Jesus at first when he showed up at the Jordan River to be baptized. But when Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens opened and God’s presence came down like the Spirit of God that had swept over the waters at the creation of the world. And if anyone there needed any further persuading, a voice from above was heard to say, “This is my Son, the beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”

John had completed his work. He had made straight the paths for the way of the Lord.

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


Monday, December 9, 2019

Advent Reflection- 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.”What about me, Mary? Will I be able to hear God’s call in the midst of my life? Will God utter the same words of comfort delivered through another that the angel offered you? Will I be able to discern God’s voice from all the others offering me invitations? Will I be able to say “yes” to God’s invitation when it appears in the middle of my ordinary life?  - Becky Eldridge, Loyola Press

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

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Advent Reflection- Announce the Good News

In the Gospel for the Second Sunday of Advent, we notice three concrete invitations for the way we live: to preach, to repent, and to announce the good news.

Let us announce that Jesus has arrived. Advent is a time of preparation, so that when Jesus comes and approaches us, we can open our hearts to him and offer him a place. The way we live and the changes we make during this time of preparation are a concrete sign of how God is preparing us for Jesus to come into our lives. Let us prepare with humble hearts, and let us ask God for the grace not only to open our eyes and ears to hear and see Jesus, but also our lips to announce the good news that he is present to us.   - by Domingo Caratachea

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En espanol:

En el Evangelio de este Segundo Domingo de Adviento, podemos identificar tres invitaciones concretas, las cuales conllevan un estilo de vida: predicar, arrepentimiento, y anunciar. 

Anunciemos la llegada de Jesús a nosotros. Que este tiempo de Adviento sea una oportunidad de preparación, para que, cuando Jesús venga y se nos acerque, le abramos nuestro corazón y le ofrezcamos un espacio. Que nuestro estilo de vida, y los cambios que vamos haciendo día a día durante este tiempo de preparación, sea una señal concreta de cómo Dios nos está preparando para la llegada de Jesús a nuestras vidas. Dispongámonos con un corazón humilde, y pidamos a Dios la gracia de abrir no solo nuestros oídos y nuestros ojos para oír y ver a Jesús, sino también nuestros labios para anunciar su llegada a nosotros.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Advent Reflection- Waiting

It is true: when we lose faith in our waiting, an immediate object of desire can distract us from the great calling to follow Christ. Advent is the season of insistence: he has come, and he is coming again. Let us recognize that listlessness, desolation, faint-heartedness are temporary, and that there will re-emerge the great desire to follow so great a king as our Christ. For every desolation, there is consolation. After every consolation, there will be desolation. But all our consolations and all our desolations are but turns in the path that leads us to our king. See that the hints of his coming are already around us: there is the gentle love of a mother for her child; there is compassion that an impoverished man shows toward one who is trying to help him. The tugs of our desire already point us toward his coming; it will not be long. As surely as love unfolds in freedom, so surely is he coming. Let us rise and meet him along the way.

  • Tim Muldoon, Loyola Press

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Friday, December 6, 2019

Advent Reflection- Trust

So, yes, it’s Advent again. We have a season ahead of us in which to rehearse and reenact the sacred story of God Is on the Way! God Will Soon Be with Us in the Most Extraordinary Way! Hope is coming; love is coming. A shining realm of peace and wholeness is, truly, coming.

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.

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Thursday, December 5, 2019

Advent Reflection- Trust

Abraham and Sarah are Advent pillars not only because grace broke into their lives, but also because they trusted the God who made the promise. Saint Paul considers Abraham to be our father in faith not because of any qualifying deeds, but because he trusted that the promises of God would be fulfilled. We find God in surprising moments of grace, and we also find God in the experiences that call for patient waiting and trust.

Waiting is not the strong suit of many of us in our hurry-up culture. Everything is urgent. Hope is foreign to people who expect quick relief, cures, and solutions. We struggle to guard Advent jealously because popular culture short-circuits this season of hope: We are tempted to go directly to celebrating Christmas without getting in touch with the part of ourselves that is longing, hoping, and trusting.

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Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Advent Reflection- Come, Lord Jesus

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).

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

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Advent Reflection- Anticipation

Advent reminds me that to wait well is not an easy thing to master. Though I try, I am often swept up in this distracted world. Too often driven by deadlines and the nagging demands of my own impatience. I want what I want now, like a two-year old banging her palms against the tray of her high chair.

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.

- Elizabeth M. Kelly, 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 9:45am.  Register

Monday, December 2, 2019

Advent Reflection- Face the Darkness

In the church calendar, every period of celebration is preceded by a time of preparation. Historically, Advent, the liturgical season that begins four Sundays before Christmas Day, is a way to prepare our hearts (and minds and souls) for Christmas. For Christians, Christmas is a celebration of Jesus’ birth — that light has come into darkness and, as the Gospel of John says, “the darkness could not overcome it.” But Advent bids us first to pause and to look, with complete honesty, at that darkness.

To practice Advent is to lean into an almost cosmic ache: our deep, wordless desire for things to be made right and the incompleteness we find in the meantime. We dwell in a world still racked with conflict, violence, suffering, darkness. Advent holds space for our grief, and it reminds us that all of us, in one way or another, are not only wounded by the evil in the world but are also wielders of it, contributing our own moments of unkindness or impatience or selfishness.

Our response to the wrongness of the world (and of ourselves) can often be an unhealthy escapism, and we can turn to the holidays as anesthesia from pain as much as anything else. We need collective space, as a society, to grieve — to look long and hard at what is cracked and fractured in our world and in our lives. Only then can celebration become deep, rich and resonant, not as a saccharine act of delusion but as a defiant act of hope.

  • Taken from Want to Get Into the Christmas Spirit? Face the Darkness

How I fell in love with the season of Advent. By Tish Harrison Warren


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 9:45am.  Register

Sunday, December 1, 2019

During Advent we are surrounded by the familiar: the decor, the prayers, the devotional practices, and simply the rhythm of the days leading up to Christmas. But paradoxically, all this familiarity is about something surprising and strange. It is about God incarnate, the Lord of the universe, born to a woman, growing up in a nowhere village in a backwater of the Roman Empire—and being invited, one fine ordinary day in the midst of our everyday tasks, to change our lives and follow him.

—Excerpted from 2020: A Book of Grace-Filled Days by Amy Welborn

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 9:45 am.  Register


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