Advent Reflections: preparing our hearts

When-we-remove-allIn December I’m posting several Advent Reflections: some quotes, some images, some meditations. It’s not a series so feel free to dip in and out as and when you have a moment or are looking for new inspiration!

I found this quote at Carrots for Michaelmas earlier this year, and quickly copied it down to keep for Advent. I think it’s a lovely paragraph to read slowly and really chew over as Advent commences.

“Each year,

as the Church recalls this mystery,

she urges us to renew the memory of the great love God has shown us.

This holy season teaches us that Christ’s coming was not only for the benefit of his contemporaries;

his power has still to be communicated to us all…

The Church asks us to understand that Christ, who came once in the flesh, is prepared to come again.

When we remove all obstacles to his presence he will come, at any hour and moment, to dwell spiritually in our hearts, bringing with him the riches of his grace.”

St. Charles Borromeo

What can we do to remove the obstacles to Jesus dwelling in our hearts?

About expectantlylistening

Writing about my contemplative journey to come closer to Jesus. I hope to inspire and equip others on their journey.
This entry was posted in Advent, Contemplative life, Prayer and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Advent Reflections: preparing our hearts

  1. Constance says:

    This is beautiful Victoria!
    It is so true that He will come at any hour and any moment, but we have to remove all obstacles. I have personally found that this is most easily accomplished in the early hours of the new day, when everyone is still sleeping and it’s too dark to see all that needs to be done in my home.
    Also, it takes time for Him to come – God will not be rushed. We must learn to wait and that’s what Advent reminds me of most. We must keep waiting until Jesus Christ comes, whether in each day of communion with Him or in our lifetime. And one more thought: He is absolutely worth every moment we wait – we will not be disappointed!
    Blessings my sweet friend!
    Constance

    • It’s lovely isn’t it? I’m so happy to be through all the busy-ness of November and have time now to sit and wait and be. I love that idea of sitting in the dark to avoid seeing all the work that needs doing! Thank you so much for dropping by x

  2. I really like this idea of removing hindrances so the Spirit can work through us. I often think of this when working with my children. From the second we are born into this earthly world we start gathering experiences that limit our connection to the Divine and as a Mother, I feel it is my task to continually support my children in working past these hindrances so that they can hear the Still Small Voice Within that is leading them on their path.

    When it comes to this time of year, we have to try hard to keep it simple enough to remove these earthly hindrances so that we can experiences the gifts of the birth of Christ. One thing that has really helped is celebrating the 12 days of Christmas and the 12 Holy Nights (from Christmas to Epiphany). While much of the rest of the world has completed their celebrations, we are left to make space for the Spirit in our holiday. I am so thankful for this time!

    • Yes, we need to be really intentional to make time for the spiritual. I like the idea of doing more during the 12 days of Christmas. I like to mark Epiphany, but am not sure how to journey from Christmas Day – do you use any particular activities or readings?

      • Oh my, what a little question, with a big answer that I cannot cover here! But, I’ll try to offer a few snippets.

        For starters, we don’t get our tree until Christmas Eve. Keeps the Advent wreath of Advent and the tree of the 12 Days of Christmas. Secondly, we spread our gifting out over the 12 days, just little things and not something everyday. Third, we gather around the lit tree in the evenings for carols and stories–first the nativity story, then Babushka and finally three kings. (There are a lot of wonderful stories that can be adapted for children of all ages in “The Christmas Story Book” http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Collected-Verschuren-Floris-Books/dp/B00265ME2O) Since our kids are little we tell each story for three or four nights) We also light a candle for every night of the 12 nights, until they are all shining on the last day.

        As adults, John and I pick a reading, either a Gospel, or a Steiner lecture to read a bit aloud each night after the kids are in bed. Sends us off to sleep with our minds in the oriented in the direction of these wonderful spiritual truths. We also reflect back on our year, one month being one day, so the first day of Christmas being January of the previous year. Steiner said that the threshold to the spiritual world is most open during the 12 Holy Nights of Christmas (believe it or not, statistics show that more people die and more babies are born during this time than any other or the year!), so these reflections can help us become closer to the path God has helped to shape for us.

        And lastly, aside from one gathering where we invite a few friends to gather around the tree, share cookies and tea and sing carols to our animals, we do very, very little out in the world during these 12 days. John and the kids are all of from school for the whole time! I wish everyone could have this miraculous gift.

      • Wow, Coco, thank you so much for such a generous reply! These are such lovely ideas, I will definitely be taking some up this year. I love the idea of lighting 12 candles one at a time; and inspired also to get our winter books out today, but keep our Christmas one (with the exception of our Advent devotional) until Christmas perhaps….I really appreciate the time you gave to answer and will be coming back to these ideas and links later this evening xx

  3. betsydecruz says:

    One thing I think we can do is slow down. Busyness for me is a big obstacle to experiencing Jesus’ presence. Also repentance. Sin is an obstacle, but God is waiting to forgive us and cleanse us, making His presence real to us. Thanks for sharing this beautiful reflection.

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