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Come away to a quiet place

 

Are you wondering if you have enough stuffing to fill that turkey to feed all the family coming over? Or are you up to your elbows in boxes of decorations in the garage, getting ready to put the lights on the house and the tree up in the living room? Maybe you’re finally back from Black Friday shopping, having hit the stores at the crack of dawn for those early-bird specials.

It’s the busy season, with Thanksgiving here and Christmas just weeks away. And our celebrations bring hectic schedules. It seems there’s no time to breathe, much less to simply be.

And yet, that’s what we need most -- not only now, but all the time. We need time to simply be.

Our Lord knows life brings challenges and busyness. Yet He constantly reminds us of the need for stillness, the value of precious quiet time.

So necessary is this, that it’s part of His commandments to us. On the seventh day, God rested. On the seventh day, He invites us to rest from our labors, to spend quiet time with Him, to rest in Him.

The Church recognizes and acknowledges the need for stillness, to prepare our hearts for the wonder to come. We approach Christ’s birth through the preparation of Advent -- a time of stillness, reflection, waiting. The season mirrors the long centuries of waiting and reflection by God’s people, longing for the Messiah, yearning for their Savior.

Through years in the desert, years in exile, years of oppression, they waited.

And through Advent, we wait. It is a short desert sojourn, a brief exile, as we wait for Christ’s birth anew in our hearts.

It’s tempting to join the mad rush of worldly preparation -- the gift-buying, decorating, parties, rushing, doing, working.

We cannot overlook the need to approach Christmas in stillness and contemplation, to renew in our hearts the wonder inspired by “... God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life” (John 3:16).

Help me, loving Lord, to take time this busy season to be still, to contemplate the wonder of your love for us, to be with you, to allow your great love to grow in and renew me. Remind me to:

“Be still and know that I am God!” (Psalm 46:10)

Be still and know that I AM. Be still and know. Be still.

Celebrate Advent in stillness with the parish of St. Ann. Masses are at 5:30 p.m. Saturdays, and Sundays at 7:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., noon (Spanish), and 5:30 p.m. Visit www.stannslv.org for more information. Homilies from the weekend Masses are available as full HD audio/video on the parish website. Click on “News” on the home page and scroll down.

 
 
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