Before Incarnation Comes the Silence

We associate the Christ Child’s arrival with angelic pronouncements and nighttime fanfare: the heavenly hosts singing and sending brilliant disturbance into the lives of shepherds, townspeople, and even great kings. However, as we approach our celebration of the great event, let us consider its silent aspect. Before holy announcement opened the skies, the darkness sparkled quietly with distant stars. Shepherds could hear the normal sounds of wind moving across the landscape and creatures sleeping or […]

Three Characteristics of Advent Waiting

Advent is a time of waiting. But not all kinds of waiting are alike. In Advent, we wait in a special way. 1. Advent waiting is expectant. Many years ago, when I was expecting my first child, I felt a deep connection to Mary in the Nativity stories. As I noticed my stomach beginning to swell, awaited feeling the first kicks, and wondered what it would mean to become a mother, I waited with an […]

Walking with Mary

Two travelers are on a road in the hill country. One is Mary, who’s thinking: “I’m so excited! The Messiah is coming! I feel as if I could dance the entire trip ahead of me. I can’t wait to see Elizabeth.” Imagine you’re the other traveler: an apprentice carpenter. You’ve been charged with an important duty: caring for your boss’s beloved. Can you keep her safe? Just look at her! She’s practically running! What’s her […]

Advent Inspiration

As we reach the midpoint of this First Week of Advent, here are a few articles from the dotMagis archives to inspire you this season. Advent Again—Time for Practicing Hope by Vinita Hampton Wright Preparing Our Hearts in Advent by Cara Callbeck Waiting by Tim Muldoon Going Off Road in Advent by Marina McCoy Waiting Well by Cindy Ristroph For Advent inspiration each day, follow along with the Loyola Press Advent calendar. Image by Susanne Nilsson […]

Advent Awaits

Advent 2018 begins on December 2. Prepare your heart for Christmas this season with online resources from Loyola Press. Sacred Advent Embrace the Advent season as a sacred space from the ease of your e-mail inbox. Sacred Advent is a daily prayer break that invites you to a step-by-step way of praying with a Scripture reading and related reflection points. Advent Calendar Find a different reflection each day during the season, many by your favorite […]

Simply Advent: Simple Celebrations

We’re approaching the end of Advent, and even though you probably have your Christmas plans set, here are a few ideas for simple celebrations. First, consider making some adjustments to grand-scale plans, and then, savor the here and now. Make a Few Adjustments Is there a simple way to celebrate Advent and Christmas? Every time I consider inviting people over, this machine turns on in my head, and it churns out these huge events with […]

Simply Advent: Simple Practices

We continue trying to keep things simple this Advent with suggestions for simple practices this season. Linger with the Nativity Story This seems simple enough, but why not be quite intentional about taking in, once more, the story of Jesus’ birth? Read it in Scripture. Read a children’s book version of the story. Watch a film about it, such as The Nativity Story or Jesus of Nazareth (first part). Read about it in poetry form. […]

How Do We Wait?

Advent is a time of awaiting the Lord. But there are many ways in which we can wait. Zechariah awaited the fulfillment of the angel’s words with confusion and doubt. Yet the Lord delivered on his promise. Elizabeth awaited expectantly and greeted Mary with hope. And the infant leapt in her womb. Mary awaited faithfully, pondering and trusting in the angel’s reassurance not to be afraid. And the Lord was with her and within her. […]

Simply Advent: Simple Encouragements

This week, plan to make a single phone call. Just one call, to one person you care about. The purpose? To express your appreciation and concern. The person you call could be a family member, someone from church, a person in your neighborhood, a coworker, a friend you don’t see often enough, or someone else you know through a shared interest or organization. You will call to say, essentially two things: I appreciate you and […]

Hope Opens New Horizons

On December 7, 2016, Pope Francis began a catechetical series on Christian hope. He opened with the following words: It is very important, because hope never disappoints. Optimism disappoints, but hope does not! We have such need, in these times which appear dark, in which we sometimes feel disoriented at the evil and violence which surrounds us, at the distress of so many of our brothers and sisters. We need hope! We feel disoriented and […]

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