Posted by: wordofthevine | November 27, 2012

The First Dispositions for Advent

When God releases His love in us, when He gifts us with His Spirit, we become more sensitive. We become better able to recognize our own weaknesses. We can’t help it when basking in the light of Real Truth. We also become more aware of and moved by the needs of others. In fact, grace acts to inflame in our hearts a passion, a drive or a persistent hopefulness for other’s well being. This other centered concern is a sign that grace is acting in us. When we act in grace by choice, we become less selfish and more generous. This Advent we want to be intentional in cultivating humility and a spirit of generous self-sacrifice. How do we do this? We follow the example of a saintly witness.

Ven. Concepción encourages today’s disciple to form the means for connection with God and His Kingdom by cultivating the virtues of sacrifice and humility. We know that the Holidays always bring extra effort, extra shopping, cooking, and caring. These can be acceptable sacrifices to offer with Jesus. Our challenge is to be discerning and intentional about the busyness. Let our gifts be examples of our self-offering love. Extend yourself. Do the simple gestures for others that make their lives better. Choose to do for others as an extension of your love for them. This year integrate your celebration with the practice of your Faith. Real love, as Dorothy Day said,” is a harsh and dreadful thing in reality.” We have to care about loving God and others more than we love our personal comfort zone.

In words spoken as gentle as an ocean breeze across her heart, Jesus affirmed to Ven. Concepción that, “I love those who through a constant and exceptional effort, are determined to follow the way of the Gospel; more importantly living and practicing humility accepting themselves as they are in light of their own reality and their own history and who are willing to sacrifice and to surrender their life for what/who they love; to be able to live intensely.”

Ven. Concepción’s approach beckons us to “become great by being each other’s humble servant, just as Christ came not to be served or, to have the easy way, but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many” (Mt 20: 26-28).

Let us ask ourselves: How can I freely and generously fulfill the demands of the Season? How can this be worship of God?  “What price am I willing to pay for upholding the ideals that I feel growing with force in my soul (Spirituality of the Cross: The Chain of Love)?” A spirit of humility and sacrifice are essential dispositions of soul for this Advent season and for ordinary time too.

~Mary


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