Daily Reflections
by Cathy

Dear children, this is a time of grace and prayer…


(c)Anthony Zubac

November 27, 2018

Dear Family of Mary!

“Dear children! This is a time of grace and prayer, a time of waiting and giving. God is giving Himself to you that we may love Him above everything. Therefore, little children, open your hearts and families, so that this waiting may become prayer and love and, especially, giving. I am with you, little children, and encourage you not to give up from what is good, because the fruits are seen and heard of afar. That is why the enemy is angry and uses everything to lead you away from prayer. Thank you for having responded to my call.” (November 25, 2018)

Whenever I think about Advent, I get double vision. It is hard to focus with double vision. What I mean is that in Advent we celebrate two realities. Those realities are both about “comings”. The first part of Advent we hear Jesus in the Gospels proclaiming the truth about Himself and preparing His people to be ready for His coming in Glory. It is a looking for the Second Coming of Christ, as King and Judge. We have been pondering this reality during November, and it continues in Advent.

The other “coming” is of course the Incarnation and Birth of Jesus! Man and God, Jesus’ first coming is remembered as we look forward to Christmas. We learn each Advent that all of history was waiting for this coming of the Messiah. And we also learn that Jesus’ coming as our Savior involved conflict from start to finish. For Jesus was entering a war zone.

So Advent is not as comfortable and joyous as we might think. The Coming of Jesus, both times, is a coming that tests the hearts of men! We remember the coming of Jesus the first time with thanksgiving and wonder, hoping that we will make room for Him in our hearts every moment, and we await the coming of Jesus as Judge and King at the end of time, praying that we will be ready for His return.

And that is why I think Our Lady’s message is all about Advent. She tells us: “This is a time of grace and prayer, a time of waiting and giving.” This time, right now, as we enter Advent, is a time of grace and prayer. God gives us grace through His Church, and Advent is a special time of grace for us. It is a powerful moment when we take in the great history of salvation, and ponder it anew! And Advent is a time of prayer, a time when we set aside extra time to be with Jesus and Mary, living with them the memory of Jesus’ birth, a memory that Our Lady is well equipped to transmit to us.

So prayer and grace. These are the constant gifts we receive from God. But waiting and giving? Well Advent comes from the Latin – “adventus” which means “coming”. How do we relate to a “coming”? We wait. We wait with hope, or with fear, or with joy, or with anxiety. We wait. And how we wait, especially how we wait for Jesus, tells us a great deal about our own hearts. Are they clean? Are they divided or whole? Are they given to God or kept for ourselves? Waiting for Jesus in both of His comings can be quite a process. A personal process.

Enough for now. We will see about the giving tomorrow.

I am excited that Our Lady is going to travel with us through this Advent. She can teach us how to wait with her pure and perfect heart. She can show us how to wait through giving!

In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
Cathy Nolan

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