Advent Meditations: Monday 4 December

Dec 4, 2017 by

Dec 4
am: 24, 150

pm: 25, 110

Amos 1:1-6 1 Thess 5-1-11 Luke 21:5-19

MONDAY OF ADVENT I -Feast of St. John of Damascus, Priest and Doctor of the Church, 749

ON THE CHURCH CALENDAR:  He was a learned theologian who carefully gathered together and transmitted to the West the teachings of the Greek Fathers, and is thus one of the most trustworthy teachers of the oriental/eastern tradition of the catholic faith. He also wrote many liturgical hymns still in use today and was one of the principal defenders of the of the veneration of images against the Iconoclasts, who condemned this practice.

MEDITATION-  The 8th verse from Thessalonians reminds us well of a daily reminder to go out into the world with especially in Advent …” Since we belong to the day let us be sober and put on the breastplate of faith and love and for a helmet the hope of salvation. Paul is asking us to lay it on the line quite publicly each day rooted in the cardinal virtues of faith, hope and love. Here we see the Christian life really has no real distinction between faith, belief and works they are integrated into one another just as they should be for the Christian. Living that way is our essential vocation but doubly so if you will in Advent because we are to be a people busily about Christ’s triumphant return. That is hard to focus on in Advent because of the demands the culture places on us to prepare for Christmas from cards to gifts to trees to lights. Nothing wrong with any of those things. But the effort we put into those things often put pace and outweigh the effort we may have in our souls to be ready for Christ or for that matter to endeavor with friends and family the same. Especially those who do not know the Lord as Savior, how do we ready them and ourselves for a coming Christ that is not found in the holiday boxes but in the hearts of humanity. The breastplate and helmet may strike people of militaristic imager but when one is under siege one may need tools to defend against the onslaught.

PRAYER: Gracious God you raised up holy men and holy women in each and every age to be stalwarts of faith amidst great adversity. Give me the grace to defend the patterns of faith for a holy life as you did Blessed John, who we remember this day. Please equip me with a renewed faith a profound hope and a burning love to blaze a path for you in this season of Advent. Amen.

Activity/Spiritual Discipline:  Read the brief book: Hundred Dollar Holiday: The Case for a Joyful Christmas by Bill McKibben. Share the ideas with friends and family to find create ways to adorn your holiday season with the things of the Spirit.

ANCIENT WORDS/PRESENT GRACE: “In former times God, who is without form or body, could never be depicted. But now when God is seen in the flesh conversing with men, I make an image of the God whom I see. I do not worship matter; I worship the Creator of matter who became matter for my sake, who willed to take His abode in matter; who worked out my salvation through matter.” — St. John of Damascus (Treatise on Divine Images)



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