Thursday, December 6, 2012

Slowing Down To Celebrate Christmas and the Sacrament of the Present Moment

It's Advent.  A season of waiting and preparing our hearts to receive The Infant Jesus on His birthday.  How can I prepare a dusty and cluttered room for a King?!  It seems more than a little bit beyond what I am capable of.  But, I know I can't (or at least shouldn't) do nothing.  So, I need to begin by sweeping it out and letting some fresh air in.  In other words, I need to go to confession.  I need to acknowledge and let go of all that is ugly, selfish, and stained. 

Once I've cleaned His room as much as possible, how can I celebrate His arrival?!  Simply by being with Him.  Slowing down to joyfully receive all that comes, without rushing ahead or lagging behind.  To bear in mind the words and ideas of St. Francis de Sales:

We must attend to the business of life carefully, but without eagerness or overanxiety.  Gently flowing rivers bear barges with rich merchandise.  Make haste slowly.  We are always soon enough when we do well.  Accept the duties which come upon you quietly, and try to fulfill them methodically one after the other.  Remember the productive honeybee, who quietly goes about its business, while the bumblebee just makes noise.

If I can slow down, I can begin to celebrate the sacrament of the present moment.  It is a perpetual victory for Christ when one is aware of His presence in all things!  It is foolish to think He is pleased to be an afterthought and that He doesn't mind waiting until I'm finished with everything and everyone else.  If we remain unable to see Him in others and ordinary circumstances, He will always be last.  Reserved until the end of the day, when all of the others climb into bed, and we're too tired to pay Him any worthy attention at all.  

"The power of the most High shall over-shadow thee (Luke 1:35), said the angel to Mary.   This shadow, beneath which is hidden the power of God for the purpose of bringing forth Jesus Christ in the soul, is the duty, the attraction, or the cross that is presented to us at each moment."   Fr. Jean-Pierre de Caussade, Abandonment to Divine Providence

If I can get his room in shape and slow down enough to spend time with Him there, only one question remains.  How can I bring Him to others?  By taking Him in the love which wraps our daily acts of kindness.  If those who receive them ponder the love, if they question the love, if the love they feel gives them pause, they will find Christ from Whom all love emanates.

If we can accomplish these things (Cleaning the King's room, Slowing down, Living in the present moment, and bringing Him to others),  We will honor Christ's birth and His life.  We will be like His Mother. 

Dear Baby Jesus and Savior King, Help me to prepare a room in my heart that is worthy of You.  Help me to slow down and attempt only one thing at a time.  Please give me eyes to "see" You in every person and circumstance.  Please give me the grace to be more like Your Mother.  I don't want to leave You for the end of the day, when I don't have anything else to give.  I know how I fare without Your Help in this, for that is where I am today.  Thank you for your mercy, patience, and love.  Thank you for trusting humanity enough to come to this world as an infant.  I am in awe of You and I love You.  Amen.

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