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Christmas

Reflection will be posted during Advent.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Prayer: Following Saint John Baptist De La Salle’s Method of Interior Prayer reflect upon this week’s Sunday Gospel.
  3. 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.

Presence

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.”


Prayer

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)

First Movement: Remember God’s Presence

Pause for a few minutes to quite 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.

Second Movement: 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?

A Reading from the Gospel of Luke 2:15-20

When the angels went away from them to heaven,
the shepherds said to one another,
“Let us go, then, to Bethlehem
to see this thing that has taken place,
which the Lord has made known to us.”
So they went in haste and found Mary and Joseph,
and the infant lying in the manger.
When they saw this,
they made known the message
that had been told them about this child.
All who heard it were amazed
by what had been told them by the shepherds.
And Mary kept all these things,
reflecting on them in her heart.
Then the shepherds returned,
glorifying and praising God
for all they had heard and seen,
just as it had been told to them.

Third Movement: 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.

Participation: A Reflection from Brother Dennis Malloy’s Welcome Letter…

Through the mystery of Christmas incarnation as we ourselves take on his flesh … to mend the breach, to bind up wounds, and to announce good news: the savior is within us as well as in our midst.

Christ has no body now on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which Christ’s compassion is to look out to the world.
Yours are the feet with which Christ is to go about doing good.
Yours are the hands with which Christ is to bless all people now.

— St. Teresa of Avila