“Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight His paths”
So much of our part in the spiritual life is about preparation. It is our ‘Yes’ to grace that opens the door to God’s action in our life. He sends something called prevenient grace, the grace that comes before a grace. Or as St. Thérèse loved to say, “All is grace.” The Scripture also says, “It is by your light that we see your light.” We are dependent on God’s grace to receive more grace, more life from our God who is love.
The time of Advent is meant as a preparation for the Incarnation of the Christ. Of course He has already come, so what does it mean today in 2011? Last week our readings pointed to Jesus’ Second Coming, the Parousia, at the end of time. He says, “Watch” four times it that Gospel. There is something more proximate, however, that we ought to consider. He comes again each Sunday when we attend Mass. Have we prepared by reading the readings, and as I suggested in last week’s column, to read the new texts of the Mass?
This would be a beautiful practice for Advent: Take Sunday’s readings, but read them each day as a meditation. It may be best to choose just one of the readings (Old Testament, Psalm, New Testament, or Gospel). Putting Sunday at the middle of the week, we can prepare for Sunday Mass by reading the passage of our choice Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Then to follow up, to put the Word into action, read it again Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. I believe it will come alive in a brand new way. Don’t forget to speak to the Lord about what you are reading, and a great dialogue of love will take place.
Oldest Parishioner Dies Fraser MacDonell died a week ago at the age of 101 years old. We had thought he had just turned 100 this summer, but after checking his birth certificate, his grandchildren found that he was born in 1910, in Canada. I believe that would have made him our oldest parishioner. (Jay Hyatt’s father is turning 101 shortly). If you know of someone older, please let me know. Fraser was a parishioner for many years with his wife, who preceded him in death by a few years. He used to come to Saturday evening Mass, sitting on the choir side. His grandsons drove him once they had wrestled his driver’s license away from him.
He worked in real estate, including doing assessments for houses purchased by the government when I-5 was built. He met Richard Nixon and other dignitaries during his lifetime. Fraser was wounded in the stomach by machine gun fire during WWII while serving in the Philippines. He survived an auto accident, where after the crash, the steering wheel remained firmly in his hands, but had broken off from the column! (He was a strong man.) He was related by marriage to Simon Fraser (1776-1862), explorer and fur trader of Canadian fame, who married into the MacDonell clan. Born in 1910, Fraser was not far removed from them and gained the explorer’s name. May God bless Fraser’s soul and all the souls of the faithful departed. Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.
A Prayer for Advent
O Lord, our early fathers in the faith waited for you as for the dawn. You will come at the end of time, when it pleases you, and when all will be in readiness for the last judgment. What have you still to give me, and what will be my eternal destiny? …
You will give me pardon and also perseverance, that sublime gift which is hidden like a pearl beneath the bitterness of death and is the seal of liberation for your elect. I wait for it, I should prepare myself better for it and live in this blessed anticipation.
My God, on account of your definite coming, suppress in me the sin which hinders your work, destroy all that impedes it, triumph over every weakness and come, at the hour you choose, like a long-desired master.
- ▼ November (5)