During Advent, we’re not waiting for a day of gifts and good will, we’re waiting for the coming of Christ.
Jeff talks about how we can approach this essential season, and let it transform our lives.
Send Jeff your prayer intentions for Advent at firstname.lastname@example.org. He will pray for them during this Advent season.
Snippet from the Show
Something much greater than material gifts awaits us this Christmas. Jesus wants to heal us and restore broken lives, but it requires a change on our part … Allow Christ to bless you with his peace and his vast provisions.
Matthew 3:1-3 – In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said,
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.”
Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) 1430 – 1432
Jesus’ call to conversion and penance, like that of the prophets before him, does not aim first at outward works, “sackcloth and ashes,” fasting and mortification, but at the conversion of the heart, interior conversion. Without this, such penances remain sterile and false; however, interior conversion urges expression in visible signs, gestures and works of penance.
Interior repentance is a radical reorientation of our whole life, a return, a conversion to God with all our heart, an end of sin, a turning away from evil, with repugnance toward the evil actions we have committed. At the same time it entails the desire and resolution to change one’s life, with hope in God’s mercy and trust in the help of his grace. This conversion of heart is accompanied by a salutary pain and sadness which the Fathers called animi cruciatus (affliction of spirit) and compunctio cordis (repentance of heart).
The human heart is heavy and hardened. God must give man a new heart. Conversion is first of all a work of the grace of God who makes our hearts return to him: “Restore us to thyself, O LORD, that we may be restored!” God gives us the strength to begin anew. It is in discovering the greatness of God’s love that our heart is shaken by the horror and weight of sin and begins to fear offending God by sin and being separated from him. the human heart is converted by looking upon him whom our sins have pierced:
Let us fix our eyes on Christ’s blood and understand how precious it is to his Father, for, poured out for our salvation it has brought to the whole world the grace of repentance.
Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and rain salvation upon you.
Hosea 10:12 – Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and rain salvation upon you.
St. Augustine – “God thirsts that we may thirst for him.”
Tips to Prepare for the Coming of Our Lord:
- Pray alone with Our Lord. Get out a notebook and pen and say: “Lord I really need you to speak to my heart. I need you to illuminate my heart in what is going on in my life. Lord I want you to shine a spotlight on the areas of my life that you would like to come into and you would like to change. I want to prepare for that change by reorienting my life toward you in these areas.” Sit in silence and listen to what the Lord may be saying to you. Write down in your notebook the areas in your life that you feel the Lord wants to change.
- Make a Change. Once you have discovered these areas in your life, change the way you live. If you don’t make the effort to bring extra time into your life where you can be with the Lord in this Advent season, it won’t be different than any other year. Don’t let your life get so busy that you miss this opportunity.
- Find time for silence. Sign up for holy hours, read Scripture more often, pray the Rosary in the car instead of listening to the radio. There are all kinds of things you can do to put yourself in a place where you can hear God. Settle yourself down and start to allow God to address these issues in your life.
Do you have comments or questions for Jeff? Use the comment box below, or email Jeff at email@example.com. You may hear your question or comment in an upcoming podcast episode!