Catholic Things

The Advent Pattern


This past week has been kind of a cool one with where God has been present.

Let’s start off with it being the first week of Advent.

When we were in Hawaii, Christmas decorations were up or being put up. And being from Kentucky where it’s typically cold during Advent and at Christmas, the Christmas decorations being put up with the temperature being between 70 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit was messing with my brain a little.

But when we got back on Sunday, the temperature was a good amount cooler. And at Mass that evening, we had the blessing of the Advent wreath and the lighting of the first Advent candle. And this week has seen the bringing back of an Advent tradition at my home parish: a Holy Hour with Vespers before the Wednesday evening Daily Mass.

And on another note, when we were out in Hawaii, we would hear Christmas music played (especially on the radio). This messed with my head just a bit since the weather was warm and sunny – not what I’m used to for the end of November and the beginning of December.

Since coming home, my mind has been able to click with the fact that it is actually Advent.

And what started in Hawaii has continued.

In Wednesday’s post, I talked about where God was working in my trip to Hawaii. The main thing that happened between God and I when out in Hawaii was His revealing to me his existence and the fact that He is very much alive.

The feeling of His existence has died down a bit since that initial experience of it. But I do still try to genuinely encounter Him in prayer.

But He continued in the pattern I saw Him weave this week.

In Sunday’s prayer, I did a bit of Lectio Divina. For those of you who aren’t familiar with what Lectio Divina is: it’s basically a close reading of a few verses of Scripture as well as contemplating on and praying with those few verses.

Well on Sunday (Dec. 2, 2018), I prayed with the Gospel passage for that day. And one of the main messages from that particular passage was to be vigilant (which I think is one of the major trains of thought for Advent).

Then on Monday, I did some Lectio with Mark 13:32-37. What I thought about during this Lectio was that each person has their own God-given talents. Not only that, but they need to be actively using these talents because we don’t know when Jesus is going to be coming back.

Tuesday, I had quite a few thoughts during Lectio. The particular passage I read, contemplated, and prayed with was Mark 12:35-37. The overarching theme I saw throughout my thoughts was Christ’s lineage and the fact that He descended from David.

Wednesday, I went to Eucharistic Adoration and Vespers before the evening Mass. And the pattern in Lectio was continued, plus something a little extra. Let’s start with the something extra since that happened first.

Something that I’ve been struggling with is truly believing that God is real and present. Well, Wednesday evening, Jesus reminded me that believing is easier when you let it happen (as opposed to trying to control it). And He told me to not try to wrap my mind around it [believing in Him and trying to rationalize His presence].

But the extra didn’t stop there. Jesus reminded me that through all the ages, He remains the same. And He used my own past and memories to emphasize the point.

Now onto Wednesday’s Lectio. What’s really cool about this is that I happened to choose the beginning of the day’s Gospel passage (and without even knowing it)! But what I got from this passage was that the people knew what Jesus could do, but they still wondered at the fact that He could do it. I also wondered if they knew who He was or knew where His power came from.

And yesterday, the pattern continued. For Lectio, I read Luke 12:35-40. The main message for this passage was that we don’t know when He’s coming back and that we need to be prepared and vigilant.

And here’s the pattern that I saw.

During my prayer Sunday through Tuesday, God reintroduced me to the core thoughts of Advent. What are these core thoughts?

  • Be vigilant.
  • Don’t know when He’s going to come back.
  • Who is He?
  • What is He capable of/Why is He here?

And I think it’s really cool that God showed me these things this week. The reason I say this is because I think it’ll be really cool to spend Advent the way it was intended to be spent: preparing for Christmas and Christ’s coming.



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