Advent Preview

Advent begins on December 3. Make it a season of grace with the help of seasonal features from Loyola Press. Sacred Advent Embrace the Advent season as a sacred space from the ease of your e-mail inbox. Each day of Sacred Advent invites you to a step-by-step way of praying with a Scripture reading and related points of reflection. The messages also include suggestions for further exploration of Advent themes. Sign up to receive the […]

O Come Emmanuel

Thinking Faith has been sharing a series of reflections on the O Antiphons this Advent. In a reflection on the last antiphon in the series—but the first in a popular Advent hymn—Frances Murphy writes of “O Emmanuel.” The traditional lyrics call, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel, that mourns in lonely exile here until the Son of God appear.” Murphy writes: An exile is someone who is separated from the place they […]

Abiding in Presence

During Advent, we often talk about hope. And one aspect of hope is our ability to abide in God’s presence while waiting for whatever will come. Jesus called himself the vine and his disciples (including us) the branches; for the branches to live, they must abide in the vine. For our lives to thrive and bear fruit—even while waiting—we need to learn abiding. We need to abide in Presence and allow that presence to soothe […]

Advent Light

Bored one day in the school library many years ago, I picked up a biography of St. Thérèse of Lisieux. Through the pages, St. Thérèse introduced me to Jesus and this amazing life I could have if I entered into relationship with him. They say that teens feel emotions more intensely and more vividly than at any other age, and that made my “welcome” to the faith journey all the more impassioned, exciting, and all-consuming […]

God Has Hope in Us

Advent is a season of hope and expectant waiting. Yet we are faced with many global crises such as climate change, war, poverty, and racism. I find that in looking at the world and its suffering, my own heart is often filled with grief, especially as I wonder about the effects of climate change on my children and grandchildren’s generations. God grants us freedom to act for love, peace, and justice, but also the freedom […]

I Can’t Wait

My daughter just sent the dates when her family will be with us over the Christmas week. I can’t wait to see them. I can’t wait to decorate our tree and set up our plywood manger scene on the lawn. I can feel a sense of excitement building. How often do you say, “I can’t wait,” and mean a sense of eagerness and longing? We all know the other kind of waiting: slow-motion moments filled […]

Longings in Advent

In December, we often ask children, “What do you want Santa to bring you for Christmas?” In Advent the Church poses to us a deeper question: “What are the deep needs and longings of your life, which only God can fill?” Frank Majka, SJ, presents that question to us in a brief reflection on Advent Longings. Are you taking time this season to consider the question? What do you really want for Christmas as a […]

Advent Waiting

I’m usually not a big fan of waiting. My wife and I are pregnant, and our daughter is due to arrive at the very end of December. These days are hard! I want our little girl to be here already. “Have patience,” a voice inside me says. Indeed, the word patience comes from the Latin word patior, meaning “to suffer.” How true. Waiting is not always easy. Many have pointed out that our waiting coincides […]

From Secular to Sacred: Go All Out!

As you prepare for the holidays this year, go all out! Literally—get OUT of the house, go OUTside, experience the great OUTdoors. Yes, you’ve got too much to do, but that’s no excuse. If it’s cold, bundle up and allow your cheeks to get rosy and your body to become energized by the brisk air. If you’re not in a cold climate, then spend a little more time wandering at a nearby lake/ocean/mountain/park. Take along […]

Settling into Advent

If you’re settling into Advent but looking for some seasonal inspiration to accompany your journey, there’s still time to sign up for Sacred Advent in your e-mail inbox. You might also enjoy other pre-Christmas options from our Ignatian friends around the Web. Sacred Space and Pray As You Go offer “God With Us: An Advent Retreat with the O Antiphons.” At her self-named blog, Becky Eldredge has started a six-week series on “Cultivating Awareness of […]

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