UP Catholic 11 27 2015 E Edition Page 4

I wonder if the snow loves the trees and ields, that it kisses them so gen- tly? And then it cov- ers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and per- haps it says, 'Go to sleep, darlings, 'til the summer comes again . Lewis Car- roll, Through the Looking Glass The beauty and gentleness of these words say Advent to me. While the ordinary world swirls around us the liturgical calendar of the Church says that there is newness and a holiness bursting upon us. The one reality of which each of us can be certain is that there will be moment in which Jesus will explode upon us and we shall be called to eter- nal life with him. All of life is an ad- vent preparing us for that wondrous moment; it is good to get a reminder to Be ready. With this in mind here are a few thoughts. I have come to think that there are three commandments most often broken. These are to remember that God is God and to have no other love before God, to keep holy the Sabbath each week, and to love God with our whole minds. Our use of time is a mirror of our values. While we are not expected to be praying formally every minute we can 1) give God some priority time (even if for a regular five minutes dai- ly) and 2) have an abiding awareness of God-with-us during our days. A love for the Holy Name of Jesus helps freatly. Recall Jesus words that the Sabbath is made for man and not man for the Sabbath. Could this be the Advent for really taking time to rest from the everyday tasks that we didnt get done during the week, time to be truly present to the members of our fam- ilies, to listen and play together and just have fun! That is all part of being renewed. To love God with our whole heart and soul and strength doesnt seem to pose that same problem that loving God with our whole minds present. While there are many in our congre- fations who are serious about their faith, there are also those who do not seek to deepen their awareness of what we believe. For Advent, may I propose that we select one area or topic about which to deepen and broaden our understanding? For ex- ample, have you grasped the richness and the implications of baptism? A person may focus on one prayer that we say commonly and probe into a fresh awareness of the words. Is there a book of Scripture, either the Old or the New Testament, which you have never read? We hear many segments of various books but seldom the entire book. For example, this Ad- vent I plan to spend time praying the Book of Proverbs. Our intent is not to become Scripture scholars but to let the Holy Spirit form us more closely to God. Perhaps there is a lack of knowledge about Church history. Maybe we are ignorant of the heroes of faith who have gone before us. Select one such person and read a biography may be more suitable at this time. Do select one just one facet of faith and go deeper and wider and bring it into practical life. This Advent, look for the coming of God in the Eucharist, in the peo- ple around us, especially those who are lonely or in any need, and even in ourselves. By baptism God abides in us and we in God. Let this be the Advent in which this powerful reality forms in us the love that cannot be taken away! 4 November 27, 2015 THE U.P. CATHOLIC COMMENTARY www.upcatholic.org Marquette Neil Newcomb 906-225-0191 1400 Wright Street Escanaba Dale Stannard 906-786-4685 Hwy. M-35 February 1, 2016 APPRECIATION ISSUE January 15, 2016 If your organization, parish or business would like to place an advertisement of support for one of our women religious or seminarians in formation, please contact Deacon Steve for pricing. 1-866-452-5112 upc@new.rr.com FORMATION REFLECTIONS FROM NORTHSTAR Regis Walling The coming of our God Thanksgiving Day Prayer Lord, We thank you for the goodness of our people and for the spirit of justice that fills this nation. We thank you for the beauty and fullness of the land and the challenge of the cities. We thank you for our work and our rest, for one another, and for our homes. We thank you, Lord: accept our thanksgiving on this day. We pray and give thanks through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Read more: http://www.usccb.org

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