Day 2: Monday 3 December 2018

Welcome to Day 2 of our Advent Calendar!

Advent has a twofold character, for it is a time of preparation for the Solemnities of Christmas, in which the First Coming of the Son of God to humanity is remembered, and likewise a time when, by remembrance of this, minds and hearts are led to look forward to Christ’s Second Coming at the end of time. For these two reasons, Advent is a period of devout and expectant delight.

Advent begins with First Vespers (Evening Prayer) of the Sunday that falls on or closest to 30 November and it ends before First Vespers (Evening Prayer I) of Christmas. The Sundays of this time of year are named First, Second, Third and Fourth Sundays of Advent.

Readings for Monday of the First Week of Advent
Is 2:1-5. Ps 121:1-2, 4-5, 6-9, R/ cf v 1. Mt 8:5-11. www.catholicbishops.ie/readings

On these first days of Advent the Gospel passage is chosen in consideration of the selected texts from Isaiah. For this reason the Church, especially during Advent and Lent, and above all at the Easter Vigil, re-reads and re-lives the great events of salvation history in the ‘today’ of her liturgy. 

Saint of the Day 
Today is the Feast of Saint Francis Xavier, priest. He was one of the first seven Jesuits who was sent to India by Saint Ignatius. He is patron of missions. 

Audio: Advent Thought for the Day

Each day during Advent we are bringing you an audio Thought for the Day on a different theme. Today’s Thought for the Day is from Marie Therese Coghlan, Co- Chair of Nenagh Parish Pastoral Council. In this piece Marie Therese reflects on those well known words of Saint Teresa of Avila ‘Christ has no body now but yours…..’ and how they speak to us in this Advent season of waiting and expectation. 

Click on the link below to listen to the audio.

The Words of Pope Francis

This year’s Advent Calendar is providing a special focus on family as part on ongoing reflections following Pope Francis’ visit to Ireland for the World Meeting of Families 2018.

The words we are sharing from Pope Francis today are taken from his time spent with couples in St Mary’s Pro Cathedral, Dublin on Saturday 25 August last:

We know that love is God’s dream for us and for the whole human family. Please, never forget this! God has a dream for us and he asks us to make it our own. So do not be afraid of that dream! Dream big! Cherish that dream and dream it together each day anew. In this way, you will be able to support one another with hope, strength and forgiveness at those moments when the path grows rocky and it becomes hard to see the road ahead. In the Bible, God binds himself to remain faithful to his covenant, even when we grieve him or grow weak in our love. What does God say in the Bible to his people? Listen carefully: “I will never fail you nor forsake you!” (Heb 13:5). And you, as husbands and wives, anoint one another with those words of promise, every day for the rest of your lives. And never stop dreaming! Keep repeating in your heart: “I will never fail you or forsake you!”

Pope Francis 

Let’s Live Advent 

During Advent we will be sharing family prayers and suggestions for acts of kindness or charity that all of us are encouraged to undertake during the month of December. The Advent Calendar will also share tips on how families can care for our common home by having a more sustainable Christmas. 

Advent Random Act of Kindness 

Share a digital smile online today and resist the temptation to post something negative in response to something that you see online. 

Advent Act of Charity 

Support the annual Christmas Gifts appeal from Trócaire, the overseas development agency of the Catholic Church in Ireland. 

This Christmas will be one of fear for millions of families around the world. Whether it is the fear of starvation, violence or disease, at this special time of year, no one should be afraid. That’s why Trócaire is asking for your help this Christmas – to offer love and support by providing food, water, shelter and safety to those desperately in need.

Click here to read more about this year’s appeal from Trócaire. 

Let’s Live Advent by Caring for Our Common Home 

Buy gift wrap made from recycled products or make your own. Go easy on sticky tape as it is single use and won’t rot. Reuse boxes for posting gifts, rather than buying new ones. 

Advent Prayers

Our Prayer Intention for the Day to Pray Together 

The Lord sometimes hides his face from his loved ones.
May those who seek the face sos Christ have the confidence
that their search will not be in vain.

Amen 

An Advent Prayer by Henri Nouwen
Lord Jesus, Master of both the light and the darkness,
send your Holy Spirit upon our preparations for Christmas.
We who have so much to do seek quiet spaces to hear your voice each day.
We who are anxious over many things look forward to your coming among us.
We who are blessed in so many ways long for the complete joy of your kingdom.
We whose hearts are heavy seek the joy of your presence.
We are your people,
walking in darkness,
yet seeking the light.
To you we say, “Come Lord Jesus!”

Amen

Video: A Blessing of the Crib in the home 

This is a short blessing which can be used in the home when the family is putting together the crib. Click here to watch the video

Advent Book Recommendation – Waiting in Mindful Hope 

waiting-in-mindful-hope

In Waiting in Mindful Hope, psychotherapist and retreat director Martina Lehane Sheehan explores the transformative power of mindfulness, with a particular emphasis on how readers can cultivate a consoling sense of hope in their lives, particularly during times of transition or change.

A book that holds special resonance during the ‘waiting’ season of Advent, Waiting in Mindful Hope offers wisdom for all seasons and invites the reader to foster a profound sense of watchfulness, acceptance and an awareness of God in the present moment.

This is a book that was published in 2016 but is just as popular again this year. 

See www.veritas.ie for more. 

 

Advent Music

christmas music

 

Creator of the Stars at Night was originally “Conditor alme siderum” and written by an unknown author in the 7th Century; It was translated from Latin to English by John M. Neale in the Hymnal Noted, 1852. This version is by by Alex Mejias of High Street Hymns taken from an album “Love Shall Be Our Token”.

Click here to listen.

 

ENDS  

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