“and so the cycle goes, bringing heavenly Light down and into earthly Life, and then returning Life to Light — thus uniting downward Agape and upward Eros, Descending and Ascending, Compassion and Wisdom, with every breath you take.”
Christmas! This online retreat is offered with the hope that it will provide you with an opportunity to enter into a time of prayer, reflection and action during this season of Advent. The retreat has three parts:
- Presence: You are invited to enter into the retreat through silence or by song. This is a time of preparation to receive God’s word into your heart.
- Prayer: Following Saint John Baptist De La Salle’s Method of Interior Prayer reflect upon this week’s Sunday Gospel.
- Participation: How is the Holy Spirit calling me to enliven the reign of God in my life, my family, my community, and the world? God’s reign—one that is reflective of God’s love, mercy, forgiveness and justice.
Light a candle as you pray “Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of God.” or “Let me remember that I am in the holy presence of God.”
Saint John Baptist de La Salle Method of Interior Prayer. The Sunday Gospel as reflected in the process of De La Salle’s Method of Interior Prayer. (DLS Method of Interior Prayer: Br. William Mann FSC)
Remember God’s Presence
Pause for a few minutes to quiet yourself and to remember that God is, even in this very moment, present to you.
- In all of creation, everything around you.
- In your very self, keeping you alive.
- In the midst of those with whom you are praying
- In the Eucharist and in the Word of God
- In you by God’s grace at work in your life.
- In the young and the poor.
Contemplate the Mystery of God’s love at work in the world.
Read today’s Gospel a few times slowly. What word or words especially catch your attention? Listen to what is being said; watch what happens; try to become part of the Mystery; lovingly contemplate Jesus.
- Reflect on the Mystery of God’s love at work in your own life.
- Does today’s Gospel have any relevance to your life?
- How do you try to share the message of this Gospel with those with whom you live and work? With those who have been entrusted to your care?
If you choose to allow this Scripture passage to come alive in you now, what would you have to change in your life? What are the obstacles to this change?
from The Gospel of Luke 2:-1-14
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus
that the whole world should be enrolled.
This was the first enrollment,
when Quirinius was governor of Syria.
So all went to be enrolled, each to his own town.
And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth
to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem,
because he was of the house and family of David,
to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.
While they were there,
the time came for her to have her child,
and she gave birth to her firstborn son.
She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger,
because there was no room for them in the inn.
Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields
and keeping the night watch over their flock.
The angel of the Lord appeared to them
and the glory of the Lord shone around them,
and they were struck with great fear.
The angel said to them,
“Do not be afraid;
for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy
that will be for all the people.
For today in the city of David
a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord.
And this will be a sign for you:
you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes
and lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel,
praising God and saying:
“Glory to God in the highest
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
Resolve to be open to the Spirit working in and through you.
- Where is the Spirit drawing you to sacrifice yourself today that others might have a happier, fuller, holier and more love-filled life?
- Take a few minutes now to thank God for this time you have spent in prayer and to reoffer yourself, as far as you are able, to the accomplishment of God’s will…God’s plan.
“Migrants and refugees: men and women in search of peace”
Pope Francis’ Message in Celebration for the 51st World Day of Peace
- Pray: engaging in conversation with God. Jesus was in constant communication with the Father, so much so that he could state “the Father and I are one.” And “I am here to do the will of my Father.” How did he know his Father’s will-through prayer. The gift of his powerful example invites us into a similar relationship with Our Father.
- Listen: Listen in prayer, listen in seeing the beauty of nature, listen in the words of love, guidance, correction and wisdom of others, listen to Scripture, and listen in the expressions of ritual and sacrament.
- Act: Live an authentic life-where words match actions based on biblical expressions of mercy and love.
- Trust: Act in faith-believe in your discernment. In your prayer ask for Jesus to guide you in the way you are being called by the Creator in your life then risk following that path!