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Friday, December 10, 2010

Dashing through life...

As I listen to the familiar Christmas tune, "dashing through the snow...", I recall a meaningful reflection I read sometime ago in 3 Minutes a Day by The Christophers. I would like to share this with you.

What's the measure of a life? This excerpt from an anonymous poem that appeared in Bits & Pieces offers a new slant.

I read of a man who stood up to speak
At the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning to the end.
He noted that first came the date of birth
And spoke the following date with tears.
But said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between the years.
For that dash represents all the time
That she had spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved her know
What that little line is worth...

We don't choose our birth date or death date, but we do decide how we live the the in-between. Make the most of your life.

Blessed Advent to all, fellow pilgrims, wherever you are.

"Each year, God asks us to shed one more coat of awareness, one more dream state and come alive to the vision of God’s plan for each of us and the world-at-large.

The older we get, the harder this is to do. As children we had a sense of wonder. Our eyes were wide open and drinking in the fascinating gifts we beheld…Our thirsty souls could not have enough of the wonders of creation.

Then, somehow, we grew too old to dream. We tired of the abundance of the world, or at least grew weary of keeping up with the feast of life, and stepped away from the banquet of life.

The natural gift of wonder God gave us as children was meant to be kept alive.…Instead we let wonder go to sleep. We entered the typical dream state of most humans.

Why else does Jesus tell us today, ‘Stay awake!’…Advent says, ‘Wake up and realize the gifts of love you have received.

…Psychology says, ‘Let go.’ Spirituality says, ‘Wake up.’ In both cases there is a withdrawal from the busyness of daily life (our dream state) and a waking up to the subconscious and spiritual depths of ourselves."

Rev. Alfred McBride, O. Praem.,THE PRIEST, Oct. ‘87, p.26

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Advent, a time of waiting and preparing ourselves for the Lord's coming, as the incarnate God of love.

This short 28-day period can easily pass by without much significance for many of us amidst the “noise” of career-building, wealth-accumulation, commercialism of X’mas (see how the world so easily remove “Christ” out of the season?) and perhaps, social-networking. So many distractions...we become indifferent to the season.

Advent is a season of readiness, getting prepared, alert and awake…for what? For the coming of the Lord…into our hearts, into our lives. We must be conscious not be distracted by secular pursuits of the world. This season is the time for God, to listen to him in prayer, in scriptural reflection, for repentance… It is also a time to respond to his call, his invitation, unique for each one of us. In doing so, we trust that he Lord will bless us...will lead us along this life's journey.

Scripture tells us, “But they that hope in the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall take wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31 - Douay-Rheims)

Many a times, in responding, the seemingly long wait for assurance, for his blessing…our minds wonder, did we truly hear him or was it merely our human thoughts fooling us? Our human condition plants the seed of doubt in our hearts… We lose confidence…we become disillusioned…

Scripture continues to reassure us and goes on to comfort us, “The Lord is good to them that hope in him, to the soul that seeketh him.” (Lamentations 3:25 - Douay-Rheims)

We must continue to be alert and wait for his coming into our lives, wait for him to lead us, to bless us abundantly. We must never lose hope. Our Lord is merciful and faithful. Surrender the distractions of the world to him...and he will give you rest and lead you.

Yes Lord, in all our weaknesses, imperfections, complexity and noisiness, we continue to ponder and echo the prayer of the psalmist, “Defeat does not come to those who trust in you, but to those who are quick to rebel against you.” (Psalm 25:3 – Good News Translation) Help us to remain simple and quiet for your coming into our lives.

Jesus, we will place our trust in you this Advent, waiting for your blessings.

“The certainty of Christian hope lies beyond passion and beyond knowledge. Therefore we must sometimes expect our hope to come in conflict with darkness, desperation and ignorance. Therefore, too, we must remember that Christian optimism is not a perpetual sense of euphoria, an indefectible comfort in whose presence neither anguish nor tragedy can possibly exist. We must not strive to maintain a climate of optimism by the mere suppression of tragic realities. Christian optimism lies in a hope of victory that transcends all tragedy: a victory in which we pass beyond tragedy to glory with Christ crucified and risen.”
- Thomas Merton – Advent: Hope or Delusion?