Advent: Our true heart's desire

 

The waiting of Advent is a longing for the desires of our hearts. Advent is the anxious wait for news from the doctor about the result of a biopsy. It is the anguished wait for the verdict from a judge or jury about guilt or innocence or jail time; it is the nerve-racking wait for a teenager to make it home at night or a child to come home safely after school. It is the seemingly endless wait for our immigration papers to arrive before the Migra decides on our deportation. It is the wait for a fever to go down or depressed spirits to rise up. It is the wait for mortgages and credit to be approved, job applications to be accepted, and exams to be passed. It is the wait for romantic love, unconditional parental love, self-love, and divine love. Advent is all of these waits and more. It is the wait for the coming of new life—the life we are meant to lead—the life God calls us to lead, the life the child Jesus teaches us to lead.

Each day of Advent provides us with the opportunity to examine our hearts and know that all that we desire can be found in Jesus: The savior of the world saves us from rejection and loneliness. The Prince of Peace protects us from anxiety and calms our restless spirits; the forgiver of sins heals and makes us whole.

Week 1:
The desire to be considered, to be appreciated
Children wish to get attention in order to be sure of the affection of their parents. We often also want to get attention, even if we are not that conscious of it.

Do what you need to be heard by God. Call God’s name day and night. Enlist the help of others to pray for your needs. God will reward your efforts in unexpected ways.

Week 2:
The desire to be free from anxiety and problems
We desire to solve our problems, to get rid of anxiety. Accept that you are powerless over an addiction or illness or the behavior of a grown child. We present our desire before God, the only one who is in control of everything.

Week 3:
The desire to feel clean and unburdened
We wish to feel free from guilt and any blame. Say an act of contrition and imagine being immersed in water and cleansed from your sins. Although you need to be baptized only once, you can sense your sins being washed away each time you ask for forgiveness.
We wish to escape difficult moments and the hardest lessons in life. How do you react after being taught a hard lesson? Consider Zechariah’s actions after being silenced for nine months for questioning God’s plan: the first words out of his mouth were praise of God. Learn from his example.

Mercy comes to those of us who live just lives, although the wait is long and filled with heartrending suffering. In its great mystery, our faith embraces the depths of our sorrow and the heights of our joy.

Week 4:
The desire to give and to receive
None of us is ever truly satisfied. We always long for more. But the wise know that until their desires are rooted in their love for God, they will never experience the joy and comfort this life has to offer. Examine your own desires and pray for a pure heart.
We know that true happiness does not lie in money or power but in caring and giving and living just lives. Remember how priceless this knowledge is.

Sometimes we wish for things that are far away and don’t appreciate what we have near. Revere and honor the saints, but remember that those who live among you who are poor, hungry, ignorant, and abused walk on holy ground. Always value their worth.
As Jesus’ disciples, we have received many gifts that we must offer freely to others. How have you assisted others in cleansing themselves of painful memories, or forgiving themselves or others for hurts and injustices?

We all want to receive gifts. The Advent season encourages us to have a generous spirit. By giving we learn that we, too, will be provided for. Generous acts lead to a hopeful heart.
Mary comes to each of us in our hour of need. And her presence signals the coming of the Lord, which is the true fulfillment of all we long for, hope for, and wait for. To live in God’s presence is our true heart’s desire.

Copy from: El Momento Católico, Advent: Our True heart's desire CP-524

 

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