Friday, December 04, 2009

Advent Time

On this day of the liturgical year, every first Friday of Advent, the Office of Readings of the Liturgy of the Hours offers a selection from St. Anselm's Proslogion. This is a favorite of mine. It begins:

Insignificant mortal, escape from your everyday business for a short while, hide for a moment from your restless thoughts. Break off from your cares and troubles and be less concerned about your tasks and labors. Make a little time for God and rest a while in him.

The passage ends:

Teach me to seek you, and when I seek you show yourself to me, for I cannot seek you unless you teach me, nor can I find you unless you show yourself to me. Let me seek you in desiring you and desire you in seeking you, find you in loving you and love you in finding you.

Today, however, the sister giving the second reading at the Office chose, as is an option, another reading. Her choice was taken from a very fine book written by a friend of ours Brother Victor-Antoine d'Avila-Latourrette. Cooks may recognize Twleve Months of Monastery Soups as one of his recipe books. Todays reading was taken from his Blessings of the Daily - A Monastic Book of Days. It is a wonderful collection of daily readings. Todays' was titled "Fostering the Spirit of Advent" which offered some hint for keeping the season. Here is a summary.

1. Cultivate an attitude of stillness, silence and peace within you that will, in turn, foster prayer and recollection.
2. Place an icon of the Annunciation in a relevant spot at home to remind of Mary's presence.
3. Make time for Bible reading (Lectio Divina).
4. Listen to inspired music - Bach Advent Cantatas, Handel's Messiah.
5. Participate in the Liturgies of the Church.
6. Don't rush the season with a tree. Use and Advent wreath and pray with it. lighting candles at meal time.
7. Place a small creche in your dining area. Leave the crib empty and light a candle beside it when you eat your meals.
8. Be faithful to the daily Angelus - the great prayer of the mystery of the Incarnation.

Thank you, Brother Victor



Leader: The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary:

Response: And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Leader: Behold the handmaid of the Lord:
Response: Be it done unto me according to Thy word.

Hail Mary

Leader: And the Word was made Flesh:
Response: And dwelt among us.

Hail Mary

Leader: Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God,
Response: that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray:
Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.

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