Friday, November 28, 2008

Ending another year of grace

This is my last post of this liturgical year. A lot of resolutions are running through my mind. I love Advent because it is the hidden season, overwhelmed by every one's rush to Christmas, or, more apropos, Xmas. Get out there and spend! It is the only way to save the economy! Forget about the fact that it was spending more than we had that landed us in this predicament in the first place. On this so-called Black Friday, during which I go nowhere near a retail outlet, along with my brother in the diaconate, Greg, I wonder What the hell is wrong with people?

I have never preached on the First Sunday of Advent. It will be interesting to see what happens. My homilies are not pre-meditated. Christ is King, whether we acknowledge him to be, or whether we can communicate this truth effectively. This fact makes me thankful and gives me peace.

I was struck today by this simple prayer from Psalm 80, composed by Eileen Campbell-Reed, a mom who observes that "[t]rying to have Advent without prayer is a little like trying to give birth while holding your breath". Trying to live Advent in that way "can be done, but not for long, rarely with joy, and not something" that is recommended:

"Good Shepherd, lead us and restore us.
Lord God of hosts, shine your face upon me.
God of restoration, give us new life."

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