Begin Advent Wide-Open to the Now

by Sister Julie Ann on November 28, 2009

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Here begins Mark’s Gospel of Jesus Christ…

Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way. A voice of one crying out in the desert: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.

During this liturgical year Evangelist Luke calls us to ‘be vigilant’.

img_7084.jpgJoin the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity’s this Advent by being awake and wide-open to the Lord’s coming in the now. Share scripture texts that are meaningful to you, possibly taken from the daily Eucharistic readings, or however or wherever you hear or see God.

Illustration: the Advent Wreath pictured here is a stump cut down to prepare for the building of Chiara Convent, Manitowoc, WI in St. Joseph’s Woods. Later, Richard Hartman handcrafted shelves for candles. Once deeply rooted on Motherhouse soil, it is a special 2009 Advent symbol blessed by Father Finian Zauch, OFM at the Franciscan Sisters’ Evening Prayer at the Motherhouse on November 28, 2009. The prophet Isaiah proclaims: a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom. Christ is our hope. He is the blossom produced by a shoot which shall sprout from the stump of Jesse.

Let us together ready the way of the Lord.

17 thoughts on “Begin Advent Wide-Open to the Now”

  1. Meghan Smith says:

    Oh, I like your new Advent Wreath! It is very simple and unique!

  2. Thanks, Meghan. You are right about simple and unique. (It is also a bit heavy, but worth the strain!)

    For those who are enjoying Carolyn’s ‘I Am A Soul’, don’t forget her December 5, 2009 appearance at the Cup O’Joy (another Advent opportunity to enjoy the goodness of the Lord.)

  3. Sister Adrianna says:

    I think these days of Advent are not only time for preparing for Christmas and the Lord’s coming, but to be aware each day of the ways the Lord, little and unknown, comes into our lives.

  4. I so appreciated praying with the reflection from Waiting in Joyful Hope Daily Reflections for Advent and Christmas 2009-2010 by Bishop Robert F. Morneau.

    One of his suggestions is to reflect upon specific words that speak of Advent to you. I found this to be an enlightening prayer; “forward” is what God is placing in my mind and heart at this time.

    It would be great to hear words of Advent that especially speak to any of you…

  5. Sister Marie Bernadette says:

    What a unique and beautiful way to use a large tree stump. You Sisters at the Motherhouse have such ceative ideas that you put into practice! It was worth a years labor to make this wreath!

  6. An Advent word that speaks to me is “waiting”. We wait for anything that is precious and worthwhile: a baby, a growing friendship, an insight into a challenge, a conversion, growth in nature, and a deepening faith. God can’t be rushed, hurried or pressed into action. “We wait in joyful hope…”

  7. My Advent word is ‘now’. Jesus is coming in this moment. I need to be ‘awake’ and ‘open’ to see His presence. (I bet you can guess some other words in my Advent vocabulary?!)

  8. Sister Rosangela Weiland says:

    My Advent word is “Prepare”. To prepare my heart by being a better listener, refraining from judgment and criticism, giving support and encouragement to others, will really help me to be ready for the celebration of Christmas.

  9. Sister Mary Bodwin says:

    Dear Sisters Julie Ann and Mary Ann,
    That is one of the most beautiful and creative Advent wreaths that I have ever seen. Thank you for sharing your time and talent with all of us.
    God bless you and keep you safe.
    Sister Mary Bodwin

  10. Sr. Pam says:

    I was reading a commentary about “stumpiness” today and this beautiful Advent wreathe is a perfect reminder of that reflection. We can all feel like stumps some days. Maybe our energy level is down or we find ourselves losing our patience over the smallest things.

    Isaiah reminds us that our stump may be dry, but it’s not always dead. God can and will raise up a little green shoot from our dry stump and pour his life-giving spirit into our hearts if we believe in Him.

    So when we are discouraged by our own “stumpiness”, we need to remember that even stumps have deep roots and reach into good soil and by the power of God, new shoots from old stumps are always possible.

  11. Sister Sue Ann Hall says:

    Thank you Rich, for the “making” of the beautiful Advent wreath for the Motherhouse Chapel and you Sister Julie Ann and Sister Mary Ann for the beautiful idea: “the stump of Jesse”

    My Advent word is: ponder. For me here in the good old USA, Christmas is NOW. The beauty of the Advent Season is lost. For me it is very difficult to stay focused, that is why ponder as Mary did is important for me. Christmas begins December 25 it does not end. I would like my time to be God’s time and so I ponder.

  12. Sister Annette Kurey says:

    Thank you for sharing the Motherhouse Advent wreath. The stump, root of Jesse, from which God will bud forth new life. It is tastily done. A daily reminder of the goodness of God.

  13. Sister Sharon Paul says:

    What a creative, meaningful Advent display created and fashioned by Richard Hartman.Thank you! A great job, well done and created from our own tree from the building site of Chiara Convent. Blessings of the Lord as you continue in Advent!

  14. geralynne berg says:

    My advent word today is promise. Contained in the following prayer used at my dinner table during Advent, I am mindful of the promise of Christ as the light in our lives and this time of year and its lights remind me of just how much we are loved by our Father.

    O God,
    we remember the promise of your Son.
    As the light from this candle,
    may the blessing of Christ come upon us,
    brightening our way
    and guiding us by his truth.
    May Christ our Savior bring life
    into the darkness of our world,
    and to us, as we wait for his coming.
    We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen

  15. Geralynne, thank you for accepting the invitation to join me in sharing our Motherhouse Advent wreath and for sharing an Advent word. Your prayer was a great addition to our blog!

  16. Sister Rosangela Weiland says:

    I just want to share a quote I read the other day from Mother Teresa: “It is Christmas every time you let God love others through you.” To me it is such a simple yet profound statement and gives us much to ponder.

  17. Gwenn says:

    I would like to share what the writers of my Little Blue Book shared with me this morning. They reminded me the Lord reached out to Peter and Andrew while they were fishing, Zaccheus when he was up a tree, Matthew when he was working at his customs post, the criminal when he was hanging next to him on the cross.
    This is Advent, which means a “coming.” I need to celebrate not only the coming of Jesus at Bethlehem, but the Lord coming into MY life…my REAL life.
    Thank you, Little Blue Book, for the gentle reminder that the Lord is with me always, everyday, all day, everywhere, today.

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