Posted November 1, 2007
Book: Sacred Space: For Advent and the Christmas Season 2007-2008
From the web site: www.sacredspace.ie Jesuit Communication Centre, Ireland
Ave Maria Press. Notre Dame, IN. 2007. Pp. 90
An Excerpt from the Jacket:
Celebrate the Season with renewed spiritual growth and inspiration from Sacred Space for Advent and the Christmas Season 2007-2008. Discover the rich, distinctive prayer method that has made Sacred Space so beloved around the world.
Using a simple, six-step prayer method, the daily reflections offer readings, prayer starters, and weekly Advent themes.
An Excerpt from the Book:
The First Week of Advent
Dec. 28, 2007
Something to think and pray about each day this week:
A time of preparation
December prepares us for the coming (Advent means “coming”) of God as a baby. Christians are not the only ones who prepare for Christmas. Some people have been preparing since January, not for the feast, but for selling, which is the main thing they associate with Christmas. Rather than be dismayed by their commercial focus, we might admire their far-sighted industry, ordering stocks, calculating what customers will go for. Do we look ahead as carefully to this extraordinary event?
Advent is a time to prepare not just our stocks for sale, but our minds for an encounter. You meet someone and they have been looking forward to seeing you. When I’d meet my friend Bill after an absence, he would approach me with curiosity. He had scanned my face with concern, seeing how I was on the outside. When he asked, “How are you? He wanted a detailed answer — he was I on the inside. You meet another friend and her first words are: I have to be gone in twenty minutes. She does not look at you, she’s just fitting you in.
Lord, in these four weeks may I prepare my mind with the thought of you, deepening my sense of what you brought to us in Bethlehem. I want it to be a real meeting, not just fitting you in or “getting over Christmas.”
The Presence of God
I remind myself that, as I sit here now, God is gazing on me with love and holding me in being. I pause for a moment and think this.
I will ask God’s help, to be free from my own preoccupations, to be open to God in this time of prayer, to come to love and serve him more.
How do I find myself today? Where am I with God? With others? Do I have something to be grateful for? Then I give thanks. Is there something I am sorry for? Then I ask forgiveness.
God speaks to each one of us individually. I need to listen to what he is saying to me. (Please turn to your scripture on the following pages. Inspiration points are there should you need them. When you are ready, return here to continue.)
Remembering that I am still in God’s presence, I imagine Jesus himself standing or sitting beside me, and say whatever is on my mind, whatever is in my heart, speaking as one friend to another.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, World without end. Amen.
How to use this book
The First week of Advent to Christmas/Epiphany and an Advent Retreat Day