Our world was made from love and goodness as we are assured in the origin story of Genesis. Throughout time, God ensures us that the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness does not overcome the light.
As humans, we have always and continue to make poor choices especially when it comes to our soul. We become complacent in the day to day activities and worries of life, taking our eye off the fact that our earthly home is only temporary. We fail to keep our eye on the long game. By doing this we lose hope.
Because God created us in His image out of love, he developed a rescue plan for us to come back to goodness and to the light. A plan for divinity to enter humanity, draw us back to Him and lead us to true joy, peace and happiness.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in HimFocus on His truth, Romans 15:13
Today is the first Sunday of Advent, the period of preparation before Christmas and the coming of Christ. When I hear this story of Christ’s birth year after year, I am called to anticipation and the reminder that hope, love, joy and peace are at my fingertips. I am reminded that Christ came to save me. He came to save you. This love proclaims Maranatha, Our Lord has come, Maranatha, Come Lord Jesus. My heart opens to my inherent goodness and turns me away from darkness. As Bishop Barron suggests, we need Advent, not just as a liturgical season but as an attitude in our soul oriented toward spiritual growth.
In her book The Liturgical Year, Joan Chittister wrote, Advent relieves us of our commitment to the frenetic in a fast-past world. It slows us down. It makes us think. Advent asks the questions, what is it for which you are spending your life? What is the star you are following now? And where is that star in its present radiance in your life leading you?
During this busy season, I invite you to dedicate some time in your schedule for stillness and silence and ponder these questions. I am giving myself permission to not get caught up in having the superficial, Pinterest worthy Christmas and ground myself in anticipation and expectation. I plan to support faith based businesses by using this resource.
The first Sunday of Advent carries the message of hope. We can have hope because God is faithful and He will keep his promises. Will you join me and commit to being watchful in hope? Expectant in waiting as we journey toward Christmas.
Our faith story transforms us the more we hear it. Each time we hear about God entering our humanity and suffering, the message resonates in a new and deeper way. It is easy to forget God’s promises, what he has fulfilled in the past, when a new trial emerges in our present.
To hope is to trust that we are part of a larger narrative bigger than ourselves and to look forward to the new life Christ offers. The challenge and opportunity of Advent lies in cultivating stillness and silence, time for resting in Christ. This preparation time allows me to ponder the hope of the angel’s message as Mary did. I can discern how is God seeking to come into my life? How is he already present?
Faith, charity, and good works lead us to hope, happiness and prepares us for eternal life. . Pope Francis cautions us that if we are guided by what is most attractive to us and our own interests, our life becomes sterile. We must respond to God’s grace by doing good every day.
How are you going to make time for prayer this advent season? God is waiting to show you his goodness and wants to reflect His goodness to the world in your face. He is patient and generous and waiting for you and for me.
Hope revives our spirit. This spiritual renewal and living in the light are directly tied to the grace of me surrendering to my creator. Oh, how I live in gratitude that Christ was born to save me from myself, allowing my soul to shine His light. If you want some daily inspiration for your soul, you can sign up here for Matthew Kelly’s Advent messages.
Advent calls us to be alert, be watchful. The vision of Smitten With Goodness is to challenge and inspire us to be alert and awake to God’s goodness daily while living in the tension and preparing for eternal life. Silence and prayer facilitate this for me.
How do you stay awake, keep an eternal perspective and battle complacency to live in hope, love, joy and peace? How will you reclaim this goodness for yourself this Christmas season?