“May we be in this world a ray of that light which shone forth from Bethlehem, bringing joy and peace to the hearts of all men and women.” – Pope Francis
The second candle on the Advent wreath represents Peace. Like the first candle, it is also purple. Often called the “Bethlehem Candle,” the second Advent candle reminds us of Mary and Joseph’s journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem before Mary gave birth to Jesus. Building on the meaning of the Prophecy Candle, this second candle recalls that after all of the division, destruction, and dispersion of the kingdom in the Old Testament, there might finally be peace on Earth – Jesus is coming, and so is his Kingdom of Peace. As we read in the quote from Pope Francis, this light of peace shone forth from Bethlehem for all the world. This Advent, light the second candle on Sunday, December 4, 2022. (https://hallow.com/blog/advent-candles-and-advent-wreaths/)
As we meditate and reflect on Mary’s journey before the birth of Jesus, I pray we all find peace within our hearts. Peace springs from within each of us. It is this light within us that reaches to the people around us.
There is a joy to in the season of Advent as we prepare our hearts and soul to receive God’s gift:
“The Advent season is a time of preparation that directs our hearts and minds to Christ’s second coming at the end of time and to the anniversary of Our Lord’s birth on Christmas. From the earliest days of the Church, people have been fascinated by Jesus’ promise to come back. But the scripture readings during Advent tell us not to waste our time with predictions. Advent is not about speculation. Our Advent readings call us to be alert and ready, not weighted down and distracted by the cares of this world (Lk 21:34-36).“
Christmas is a season for active preparation through fasting, reading the Bible, and prayer. It is a time to share with our families and communities the love of God. It is a time to express our resounding joy.
Praying the Joyful Mysteries, allows us to follow Mary’s “Yes” to the birth of Jesus. Through Mary’s eyes, we journey along with her in the faith, hope and joy. Reading scripture (Luke 1:26-56). also allows us to focus our minds and hearts on the true reason for the season – Christ, coming to redeem all of humanity.
Going into a Catholic Church during Advent fills my soul with quiet wonderment as I gaze upon the Nativity Scene.
Kneeling before the manger, I recall a time when we would perform the nativity story for our parents and church congregation. It was a season of anticipation, of going from home to home, of festivities, food and baked goods, and different communities joined together in sharing in Christmas joy.
Our home was was opened to people from church. The first thing that would greet them is the smell of baked goods, and home made fruit cake which my dad gave out to families and friends. The joy of the season was also going to one another’s homes and carolling/singing Christmas songs. My favourite part of carolling would be the hot chocolate and treats our host prepared. The highlight of Christmas would be a candlelight service, where hymns were sung along with the Nativity play. All the kids would dress up and retell the story of the birth of Jesus. Always told with a bit of clumsiness and a tender heart.
The humble Holy family surrounded by shepherds and wisemen on a starlit night was a story retold year after year.
There is a rustic beauty as I gaze upon baby Jesus lying in white linen against the coarse backdrop of an old stable.
Watching this scene are sheep, donkeys, mule, cows – all in for the night. I imagine the barnyard smell of dry hay and animals. There is Mary and Joseph gazing with adoration upon this miracle from God – a baby is born into a world – our Savior. He is both Divine and human (now let’s try to wrap our heads around this), sent by the Father to redeem all mankind.
Let’s not let this beautiful story be untold in our world. Let this story not be forgotten, and let us share it even if it’s politically incorrect. This story tells of the birth of Jesus, born to a virgin who said, “Yes”, to God.
Being bed ridden is no fun, especially when it also triggers my asthma – so sleep is healing.
My Spiritual Director was not kidding when she once told me that the sick don’t pray or read the Bible. Well, I can honestly say that I just slept and bemoaned feeling like crap. I do recall murmuring Our Father and The Hail Mary.
My capable 16 year old tested me for Covid – 19 – negative. Praise God for his hand in my healing the past few days.
Being sick as the Advent season starts has given me time to reflect on Christ the king in my heart. It has also given me time to reflect on my sins – the chaos I create – gossipy tongue, work related dramas, interpersonal relationships and the mores! I continuously fall short. I am thankful for God’s Divine Mercy. His blood and water to cleanse the stains upon my soul.
I hope to be back on my feet and the first thing I will do is go to morning mass and make a good confession as I head into the Advent Season focused on only Jesus.
This morning I gathered my family and lit the first Advent Candle with this prayer:
“Lord our God, we praise you for your Son, Jesus Christ: He is Emmanuel, the hope of the peoples, He is the wisdom that teaches and guides us, He is the Savior of every nation. Lord God, let your blessing come upon us as we light the candles of this wreath. May the wreath and its light be a sign of Christ’s promise to bring us salvation. May He come quickly and not delay. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.”
I pray for a blessed Advent for each of you and your families 💕🙏 and may the light within us shine out into the world💕🙏
For more information on creating your own unique family Advent:
I cannot express enough the role of Mother Mary in drawing me closer to Jesus. As a mother, she guides me towards her son with gentle nudges and warns me if I fall too far behind him.
In this post, I share Father Chris Alar’s teachings and insights on Marian Apparitions through his series, Explaining The Faith. It is an excellent series as Father Chris takes us on a journey filled with insights from his own seminary training for the priesthood, and it gives a deeper understanding of our faith.
In the following videos, are those on Marian Apparitions. Father Chris gives insights into the role of Marian Apparitions in our world, as well as why Mother Mary has appeared during certain climatic events throughout our history.
This post is offered in thankfulness to the our Blessed Mother Mary, and to a reader for his email on two specific Marian Apparitions.
I just caught up, read and watched the video with Glenn Hudson on the John Henry Weston Show (lifesitenews). For those who are interested in Marian Apparitions in Garabandal, this episode gives a good understanding of the history, the village, the children, and prophetic messages to the children for the world.
I am posting this as I think it is important for all – Catholics, Christians, and skeptics – to prepare our hearts for the coming chastisement. I, for one feel it is coming soon. I also imagine all the gravity of my sins laid before me – it’s not pretty. From my gravest to even the most minuscule in my eyes, I really know in God’s eyes it’s not the same.
Glenn Hudson, an expert on the apparitions of Our Lady of Garabandal, explains our Blessed Mother’s warnings of conditional chastisement, Padre Pio’s belief in the apparitions, and what it all means for Catholics today.
Praying and my quiet time with God is one of the most important part of my day. It is keeping in touch with my beloved, sharing with him my joys, cheers, fears, and angst.
In the past I haven’t always used prayer apps, but now that I am back at work, I use them daily.
Back into the throngs of being governed by a hectic schedule, my quiet time with God has changed. My morning prayer time has changed using the Amen App developed by the St. Augustine Institute. It has transformed my morning in starting the day on a positive note – Holy and Saintly.
I am up at 4:30 am when my family is still sleeping. Alone, a great way to start my day while eating breakfast, is listening to one of the daily meditations in the Amen App. It is a positive start of my day over scrolling and reading the daily news on my device.
This app is free, and one of the best out there. I use this app when praying the rosary while waiting for the bus. On the bus, in the metro, and sometimes during lunch, instead of mindlessly scrolling through Instagram or Facebook, I pray one of the prayers in the Amen app.
It helps me keep Jesus centred and focused throughout my day – especially during the day when I need His help to get me through the challenges of teaching – and life.