November–December, Thanksgiving–Advent 2018
A time of harvesting God’s gifts with grateful thanksgiving yields to the spirit of 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
ST. 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.
ST. 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.
Charity is a love above emotion and reason through which people love one another to the same end Jesus Christ loved people: to make them saints in this world and blessed in the next.
ST. 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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For all our differences and disagreements, we can live in a world of peace. In opposing every attempt to create a rigid uniformity, we can and must build unity on the basis of our diversity of languages, cultures and religions, and lift our voices against everything which would stand in the way of such unity. (Pope Francis)
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God explains himself as one who pours himself out in love, not one who explains things. (George Coyne, SJ, director of the Vatican Observatory 1978–2006)
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Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement. …. get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed. (Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel)
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…In any dark time, there is a tendency to veer toward fainting over how much is wrong or unmended in the world. Do not focus on that. Do not make yourself ill with overwhelm….We are needed, that is all we can know….Didn’t you say you were a believer? Didn’t you say you pledged to listen to a voice greater? Didn’t you ask for grace? Don’t you remember that to be in grace means to submit to the voice greater? You have all the resources you need to ride any wave, to surface from any trough. (Clarissa Pinkola Estes)