A time of grateful thanksgiving yields to Advent expectation. A new year of the Church’s life begins. Advent — we wait in hope as God’s promise of salvation unfolds. We honor Mary as the bearer of Christ our hope, and prepare to receive the gift of the Word made flesh at Christmas.
From centuries ago, the words of our founders still resound, full of wisdom and insight for today. Saints Elizabeth Ann Seton, Vincent de Paul, and Louise de Marillac are our companions in gratitude and waiting.
CHARITY WISDOM FROM OUR FOUNDERS
ELIZABETH ANN SETON
God only can measure my joy and gratitude.
Oh, if indeed you could pass this Advent with us —…do try much to take all its grace—it is so sweet a season for comforting the poor and in every one our coming Lord.
I am a mother so the mother’s thought came also: how was my God a little babe in the first stage of his mortal existence in Mary.
VINCENT DE PAUL
We must give as much time to thanking God for his favors as we have used in asking him for them.
God serves as our provider, furnishing us with what we need and beyond. He gives a sufficiency and more. I do not know if we think often enough of thanking him as we should.
LOUISE DE MARILLAC
God never showed greater love for His creatures than when He resolved to become [hu]man since all the graces that He subsequently bestowed on us depend on this initial act.
The love of God for [hu]mankind willed that the Son should take human flesh because His delight is to be among His creatures. By becoming like them, He could bear witness to the fact that God has loved them from all eternity. This He did throughout His human life upon earth.
Therefore, let us love this love and we will thereby grasp its endlessness since it depends in no way on us.
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CHARITY WISDOM FROM OUR FRIENDS
It is no use saying that we are born 2,000 years too late to give room to Christ. Nor will those who live at the end of the world have been born too late. Christ is always with us, always asking for room in our hearts. (Servant of God Dorothy Day, d. 11/29/1980)
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A community created to help others will never thrive. But one created for equal benefit would. We are all flawed. Everyone has something to learn from, something to give to the other. Dignity, equality, belonging. (Jean Vanier)
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All of us want peace. Many people build it day by day through small gestures and acts; many of them are suffering, yet patiently persevere in their efforts to be peacemakers…. May we dedicate ourselves prayerfully and actively to banishing violence from our hearts, words and deeds, and to becoming nonviolent people and to building nonviolent communities that care for our common home. Nothing is impossible if we turn to God in prayer. Everyone can be an artisan of peace. (Pope Francis)