Thursday, December 20, 2007
PRIERE DU JOUR - PRAYER OF THE DAY!!!
Prayer and Devotions
The True Coming
by Father Barry O’Toole, LC
Resolution: Make a brief visit to the Blessed Virgin today. Ask her to teach you how to be docile in accepting and fulfilling God’s will in your life.
December 20, 2007
Thursday of the third week of Advent
“In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, full of grace! The Lord is with you.’ But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I am a virgin?’ The angel said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.’ Then Mary said, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her.”
Introductory Prayer: Lord, just as you entered Mary’s life by sending your angel, I would also like you to enter my life today. I believe that you have been waiting for this moment to be with me. I, too, have longed for this moment of “re-creation.” I hope in your kindness and mercy, for without you, Lord, what would my life be? I want this time I spend with you to be a demonstration of my love for you. I want to be more completely yours, as you have given yourself to me.
Petition: Lord, help me to overcome my egotism and allow you to enter into my life.
1. The Logic of Love - When someone injures us physically or morally, how do we usually react? Generally we try to separate ourselves from that person. Sometimes we create distance by attacking back and giving a show of force, thus obliging the other person to flee. Other times we ourselves flee, or at least recoil, trying to protect or remove ourselves from danger. The bottom line is that we are egotistical: We are thinking about ourselves first. God isn’t that way, because he truly loves us. When man injures God through sin, turns his back on God’s love, withdraws to a faraway place, and shuts God out of his world, God goes and searches for him. This is the true meaning of Christmas. Man thinks he has “confined” God to heaven by locking himself outside heaven’s gates. But — God lowers himself, becomes human and comes down from heaven in order to get outside and open that gate for us again. He doesn’t do this for his own sake, since there is nothing that man can give God that he doesn’t already have. God does it for man’s sake, since without God, man is emptiness and nothing.
2. A Change of Heart - Why do we reject God? There is a beautiful text from the liturgy of Good Friday which poses this question by saying, “My people, what have I done to you? Or in what have I offended you? Answer me. What more should I have done, and did not do? I led you out of the land of Egypt, and you prepared a cross for me. I opened the Red Sea before you, and you opened my side with a lance. I gave you a royal scepter, and you have given me a crown of thorns. With great power I lifted you up, and you have hung me upon a cross. My people, what have I done to you, or in what have I offended you? Answer me” (Reproaches of Good Friday). Our real problem is egotism. We think about ourselves before we think about God or anyone else. We see God’s laws as an encroachment on “our” freedom (our desire to follow our whims and fancies). God becomes a tyrant that we must eliminate from our lives in order to be “happy.” We order God out of our lives; we shout, “Crucify him!” And with tears in his eyes and a heavy heart, he allows himself to be crucified. This is real love that respects our freedom. However, he sends his Holy Spirit who continues to knock at the door of our hearts, asking us to repent and readmit him into our lives.
3. Mary Our Model - Mary is a perfect example of what God would like every human being to be. God sends an angel to knock on the door of Mary’s life. Even though she is startled and afraid, she listens to God’s messenger. Without understanding all of the implications of God’s plan, she accepts in faith, because she grasps that this is what God wants. She truly loves God more than herself. She seeks only to fulfill what is pleasing to God, without asking herself what this might imply for her. She has a loving trust, a belief that God cannot desire anything but the best for his beloved daughter. This is what God expects of each one of us. He asks us simply to consent to his plan; he will take care of the rest. This requires a daily conversion to God and a daily acceptance of his will in our lives. This is what Mary did as she “kept all these things in her heart and meditated on them” (Luke 2:51).
Conversation with Christ: Lord, as a consequence of accepting of your plan, Mary and Joseph are traveling to Bethlehem. When they arrive, they will search for a worthy place for the Messiah to be born and will be turned away. Help me to prepare a place for you in my heart, so that when you come knocking at the door of my life this Christmas, I will be prepared to open that door and allow you to be born there. Help me to imitate Mary’s example and to prepare my humble abode for your Son. Thus I will be able to enjoy the richness of contemplating the beauty of the tender baby, the Savior of the world.
Resolution: I will make a brief visit to the Blessed Virgin today, asking her to teach me how to be docile in accepting and fulfilling God’s will in my life.