Advent Reflection – Week one
With Mary through Advent - to our Schoenstatt Bethlehem
We have entered the Church’s new liturgical year through the Door of Mercy. With Mary we are now invited to see with eyes of faith the wonders God is busy preparing for us; to listen to what is said and to what is not being said; to speak after discerning God’s will, and to love with all our hearts! This advent we want prepare the crib for the Christ – child in a special way –by reflecting on the little consecration prayer and translating it into thoughts and actions of love.
In this way we may transform our heartshrines, homeshrines into spaces where love, healing and mercy can be tangibly experienced. Father, your Shrine Heart of Love, Healing and Mercy! Then our encounter with the Child in the Crib will be truly a deep and meaningful one!
MY Queen my Mother, I give myself entirely to you and to show my devotion to you I consecrate to you today my eyes, my ears , my mouth, my heart –my entire self without reserve, as I am your own my good Mother, guard and defend me as your property and your possession, AMEN.
At the beginning of each day we pray our Consecration prayer and read the short reflection.At the end of each day I place a sign in the crib of all attempts to live each day in the spirit of this consecration prayer (successful and unsuccessful attempts could be symbolized through bits of straw in a crib)
Advent Week one : Light your first advent candle
Sunday” Let me see with your EYES
REFLECTION: Mary you are the one upon whom God looked with love and who looked upon Him in return with all the love of your heart. His gaze sought you out among all women and your eyes marveled at this wonder. There is so much that I take in with my eyes. Let me guard my eyes from images that I should not be looking at. Let me not ‘surf’ to sites on the internet that Mary’s eyes would not be engaging with. During this week I want to use my eyes as Mary did. Mary saw the needs of others and responded practically (Cana, Visitation). Today I want to see where I can be of practical assistance. That evening I will place in the crib the help that I offered or the temptations I avoided.
Monday ; Lord let me see with the eyes of faith
REFLECTION: I will encounter many issues in the course of this day at home, at work or in my sick bed. Let me see what happens around me with Mary’s eyes and take in the circumstances not only from a purely natural level but also from a supernatural level. Let me see the bigger picture! What is God trying to bring home to me through the events of today? That evening I will reflect on whether or not I have made a conscious effort to ‘see with the eyes of faith!
Tuesday: Let my gaze at someone be uplifting!
REFLECTION: Our eyes says such a lot! With one look I can show compassion, understanding and bring healing. I can look lovingly or I can look disapprovingly in which case my ‘look’ can be disheartening for someone who needs to be affirmed. I have it in my power to change the way I gaze upon someone. That evening I want to reflect on my ‘look of love’ or my look of disapproval’ and offer this to the Christ-child
Wednesday: Let me tune into someone’s eyes of mercy
REFLECTION Since we may find it so hard to forgive ourselves we sometimes do not recognize ‘eyes of mercy’ towards us! God’s eyes are always merciful, so too are Mary’s eyes. Their eyes are not wanting at every opportunity to remind us of our sinfulness. It is even harder to believe that the people we love most can look at us with mercy especially if we have hurt them in some way. Today we want to be on the look-out for those merciful eyes and be grateful for that compassion. That evening I want to place in ten crib my acknowledgement of mercy shown to me by someone
Thursday: Let me be able to see Christ in others
REFLECTION: Sometimes we may look at someone and yet not fully ‘see’ them. We allow our prejudices, biases to get in the way of our human encounters. Saint Teresa of Calcutta saw Christ in the distressing disguise of the poor –she truly had Marian eyes in order to see Christ lying on the pavement, Christ in the orphaned, neglected child and Christ in the dying. Today I want see the Christ-child in the person that I am interacting with! That evening I place in the crib this encounter with the Christ-child.
Friday :Let me thank for this gift of my eyes
REFLECTION: We may take our eyes for granted when we are younger. What marvels of nature we are allowed to take through our eyes – the blueness of our country’s sky, the translucent colours of our oceans, the stars at night, the beauty of watching children playing happily, the Christmas decorations in our shopping malls that have gone up far too early but are beautiful to behold, the soft fickering candle-light at our homeshrines, the glow on the faces of our loved ones and so many more examples of pure joy that comes to us through our eyes. Today I want to thank for my eyes! That evening I will place in the crib my gratitude for what my eyes were able to see.
Saturday: When my eyes close for the last time.
REFLECTION: Each morning we are gifted with a brand new day – filled with new promises for a new beginning and we can start all over again. Our eyes are awake each morning to take us through the challenges of that day. We do not know the hour or the day when we will not wake up to a brand new day. Advent reminds us of this ‘being awake’ to God’s coming in humility as a Child , awake to his coming in Glory but also to his coming in ‘disguise’ on our altars and in our everyday lives. It is in being ‘awake’ to the presence of God in this lifetime that we can be assured of being truly ‘awake’ to God’s presence in the next life. So when our eyes close to this world we will truly see as we have never seen before! Today I want to recognize the many times God was present to me. That evening I will place in the crib my acknowledgement of His presence.