Second Wednesday of Advent, 9 December 2020
In today’s reflection, Waiting in Joyful Hope author Michelle Francl-Donnay reflects on Isaiah 40:26b, the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, and planning your own funeral.
In the comments section below, share your own response to today’s scripture, Francl-Donnay’s reflection, or the accompanying meditation prompt.
Some years ago, our family radically revised our approach to holidays, dispensing with a lot of the things that seemed to ratchet up anxiety. But we who have a natural knack for anxiety can manage to find or create it even in places where we’d least expect it, such as devotional practices.
In an effort to focus more fully on the spiritual significance of Advent, I’ve been attracted to all sorts of practices, rituals, reflection opportunities, “prayer projects.” And naturally, when I fall behind or neglect some ritual I’ve resolved to follow, anxiety ensues. Sheesh.
These practices are an opportunity that I value, but the best gift I can offer God isn’t to collect all my spiritual Green Stamps so that I can redeem them for a prize. It’s to constantly pause in the midst of whatever has distracted me from following through on my prayer projects and say, “Well, God, here I am. What can I do for you right now?”
To offer my life back to Him to do with as He/She wills.
The vastness of God’s love is so great that He loves every person ever born. All through human history there are examples of deeply cruel people committing horrific acts. Side by side, there have been saintly people committing angelic acts. God’s love is so vast that He loves all equally. When contrite, He forgives all equally. Will they have equal consequences? In my humanity, I hope not. But God’s ways are so far above humanity’s ways, there is really no way of knowing. The vastness of God is a mercy to we humans.