Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Congregation for the Clergy

12/2/2012 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Christ shows us how to keep vigil: by praying!

How do we prepare ourselves for this Day?  How can we live this time of waiting without anguish or fear? How do we live this time enjoying the abundance of love of which the Apostle speaks

Highlights

By Congregation for the Clergy

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/2/2012 (1 year ago)

Published in Year of Faith

Keywords: Advent, First Sunday of Advent, Vigilant. preparation, Vatican, Congregation for the Clergy


VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) - "Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man" (Lk 21:36)  Christ's recommendation introduces us to Advent, the Church's new Liturgical Year and a time of grace in which we will be guided to meet, to know and to recognise the Mystery! 

The Mystery that, in less than a month, we will adore as a Child in the arms of a young Israelite, the Blessed and ever Virgin Mary.

Why, at the dawn of this new Year of grace, does the Church make us listen to such a Gospel passage?  In fact, the Lord Jesus addressed us in a way that, to many, would seem to have little to do with the delicacy and harmony of the Christmas Mystery. 

They are words that, if we take them seriously, would 'terrorise' us because they herald the end of the things of this world and therefore the end those daily things to which we pay care and attention.  They are words that remind us that the end of time, which is known to God alone, will come like a trap that "will assail everyone who lives on the face of the earth."  (Lk 21:35) 

What does this indicate to us?  "And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory."(Lk 21:27)  At that moment, everything that was just a "reflection" will fade to leave room for the true Light!  The shadows will give way to Day, time will give way to Eternity, and our hearts will always remain exactly as they were at the moment before all this happened. 

If you were directed to the Light, you will be delivered from all your troubles and will belong only to Christ, in the eternal embrace of the Paradise.  If, instead -and God forbid that this is the case-, you had turned to the "reflection", rather than the Light source from where the reflection originated, when Son of Man appears, you will be covered in shadow and so will not welcome Christ's merciful embrace.

How do we prepare ourselves for this Day?  How can we live this time of waiting without anguish or fear? How do we live this time enjoying the abundance of love of which the Apostle speaks: "May the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we have for you, so as to strengthen your hearts, to be blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his holy ones." (1 Thess 3:12)  

How do we live like this?  Let us listen once more to the words of our Saviour:  "Be vigilant at all times and pray." (Lk 21:36)  The Lord indicates the way:  to be vigilant and to pray!

Firstly, He calls us to be "vigilant" in every moment which means to say "awake".  In what way?  Within the Church there are monks and nuns, men and women, who "materially" "keep vigil" by sacrificing hours of sleep to devote themselves to prayer in the middle of the night and thus intercede for all men. 

In addition, there are many precious hidden lives who offer their prayers and sufferings and are like "flames of faith" in the darkness that keep that kind of vigil to which Christ calls us.  The one who keeps a vigil doesn't sleep, nor does he live a life that is enclosed in himself and therefore separated from reality.  The one who keeps vigil lives without fleeing real life, even if, at times, this means welcoming sorrowful or undesirable events.  

Moreover, Christ shows us how to keep vigil:  by praying!  Praying helps us to look at the heart of reality, to the Mystery from whom all things were made and towards whom all things tend and so we make a vigil by imploring Him who "comes" to us.  In prayer we encounter the Mystery that shows us His face and takes us by the hand.

No artificial dream, or no pale reflection and no false concern can really match the intimate desire of our hearts.

Let us keep vigilant and pray!  In this way we will be counted amongst those that will hear the Angel's words: "I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  For today in the city of David a saviour has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord." (Lk 2:10-11)  Then we will be taken by the Shepherds to the manger in Bethlehem where we can immerge our hearts in the contemplation of the Mystery made into a Child. 

With that Child we can grow and entrust ourselves to Him, without ever losing sight of Him until the day on which He will come in His Glory, with all the Saints, and take us to be with Him forever. 

Let us ask the Blessed Virgin Mary, who was the first amongst all creatures to live this daily prayerful wait, for the grace not to become weighed down with the drunkenness and cares of this life (c.f Lk 21:34) but to become solid and holy before our God and Father, upon  the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  (c.f 1 Thess 3:13)  Amen!

Citations of:

Jr 33,14-16: www.clerus.org/bibliaclerusonline/en/9avutnba.htm    
1Th 3,12-4,2: www.clerus.org/bibliaclerusonline/en/9asrr1c.htm
  www.clerus.org/bibliaclerusonline/en/9abrwed.htm  
Lk 21,25-28.34-36:   www.clerus.org/bibliaclerusonline/en/9bguv2u.htm
  www.clerus.org/bibliaclerusonline/en/9burpeu.htm 
 

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for November 2014
Lonely people:
That all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others.
Mentors of seminarians and religious: That young seminarians and religious may have wise and well-formed mentors.



Comments


More Year of Faith

The Wedding Invitation of Jesus: We are Called to Live the Nuptial Mystery Watch

Image of There will be no giving or taking in marriage in the kingdom to come because the very purpose and meaning of marriage itself will be fulfilled. (See, e.g. Mk. 12:18-27) We will be living in the fullness of the Communion of Love with the Trinity. The symbol will give way to the eternal reality, the Sacrament will be fulfilled in the fullness of communion. All of human love will be completed in the Love which lasts forever.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

It is not accidental that the Bible, from beginning to the end, uses marriage as a metaphor and a symbol to reveal the plan of God for the whole human race.  Marriage was God's plan from the beginning as we see in the first book of Genesis. Throughout the Old ... continue reading


The Sower. The Seed. The Field. Understanding the Christian Mission Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

"A sower went out to sow. And, as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for ... continue reading


Reflection on the Catholic Catechism: Understanding the Bible Watch

Image of

By Michael Terheyden

How we interpret the Bible is of immense importance! It directly affects what we believe about Christ, the Church, and our faith, but it is also related to many of the grave problems in our society and the world. Yet, despite the gravity of this situation, we have good ... continue reading


Christ the King, the Year of Faith and the Catholic Counterculture Watch

Image of On this Solemnity of the Feast of Christ the King, the Year of Faith inaugurated by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI comes to a ceremonial end. However, in reality, it cannot and will not end, because Jesus Christ is King! The Year of Faith was only the beginning for those who choose to live the Life of Faith.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

We celebrate the Feast of Christ the King. It is one of many opportunities the Catholic Church year offers to each one of us to consider the creature called time, receive it as a gift, and begin to really live our lives differently.  This is one of ... continue reading


The Bones of Peter, the Successor of Peter: Close of the Year of Faith Watch

Image of The bones of St. Peter the Apostle

By Deacon Keith Fournier

On the Solemnity of the Feast of Christ the King, the Sunday which marks both the end of the Church Year and the end of the Year of Faith, inaugurated by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Pope Francis greeted thousands of the faithful and presided over Holy Mass and the ... continue reading


Fr Randy Sly on Becoming a House of Prayer Watch

Image of Jesus drives the money changers from the temple. 

With hearts clear and focused on our Lord, we can follow the advice of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Everything starts with prayer. Love to pray--feel the need to pray often during the day and take the trouble to pray. If you want to pray better, you must pray more. The more you pray, the easier it becomes. Perfect prayer does not consist of many words but in the fervor of the desire which raises the heart to Jesus. (Fr. Randy Sly)

By Father Randy Sly

Becoming a House of Prayer is the best discipline we can take on. St. Ephraem of Syria states that Virtues are formed by prayer. Prayer preserves temperance. Prayer suppresses anger. Prayer prevents emotions of pride and envy. Prayer draws into the soul the Holy ... continue reading


Jesus Weeps and Offers the Path to Peace Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

If this day you only knew what makes for peace- but now it is hidden from your eyes. For the days are coming upon you when your enemies will raise a palisade against you; they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides. They will smash you to the ground and your ... continue reading


The Kingdom of God is Among You. What Did Jesus Mean? Watch

Image of The Christian vocation is, of its nature, a vocation to the apostolate as well. Indeed, we call an apostolate every activity of the Mystical Body that aims to spread the Kingdom of Christ over all the earth. (CCC#863)

By Deacon Keith Fournier

In Jesus Christ, the Kingdom has been inaugurated. Upon his return it will be made complete and fully manifested in a new heaven and a new earth. We are members of the Body of Christ which makes it present here and now - as seed and sign for a world which is in labor. ... continue reading


Year of Faith: Bringing the Feast of the Presentation of Mary to Life Watch

Image of The Feast of the Presentation of Mary is celebrated in both the Eastern and Western Churches. It recalls the day in the life of the Jewish girl named Mary (Maryam) when her parents, Joachim and Anne, presented her to the Lord in the temple and dedicated her life to Him.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

On this Feast of the Presentation of Mary, let us make the choice to surrender ourselves to the same Lord who Joachim and Ann honored when they presented their dear daughter in the temple. Their daughter, Mary, became the Second Eve. The New Creation was born through ... continue reading


WEDNESDAY HOMILY: Our Lady's Encouragement Watch

Image of

By Fr Samuel Medley, SOLT

I got off the subway at Termini station and went up to the busy streets of Rome.  I had to walk past the place where all the prostitutes gathered.  I looked down at the street and began to pray in fear.  Suddenly I heard a feminine voice say, "Be a man!" ... continue reading


All Year of Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Revelation 15:1-4
1 And I saw in heaven another sign, great and ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 98:1, 2-3, 7-8, 9
1 [Psalm] Sing a new song to Yahweh, for he has ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:12-19
12 'But before all this happens, you will be seized ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 26th, 2014 Image

St. John Berchmans
November 26: Eldest son of a shoemaker, John was born at Diest, Brabant. He ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter