Saturday, December 6, 2008

An Advent Reflection

A reflection for the beginning of Advent by Mother Maria-Michael Newe, OSB.

During Advent we hear in the Gospel: “Jesus said to His disciples, ‘Be watchful, be alert, you do not know when the time will come.” Advent is not a time of repentance in the sense that we look at sin and how God has redeemed us (as we do in Lent), but rather to look at what we have done with the Resurrection. How have we applied that to our life so that it can encourage us at the end times --which began after the death of Christ? It’s a time for all of us to look and ask, “Have we used the power of the Resurrection in our lives to better our lives, to know that we are called to be faithful; faithful to the King of kings?”

This is a time to look and ask, “What do I need to do to be converted unto the Lord?” As Benedictine nuns, we take a vow of conversion. What does this vow of conversion mean? It is a vow to begin each day anew. But you can’t begin anew unless you know what you’re fighting against. That is important. It says in the letter to the Ephesians: “For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers with the world rulers of this present darknesss, with the evil spirits in the heavens. Therefore put on the armor of God that you may be able to resist on the evil day and having done everything to hold your ground.” (Eph 6:12-13) Stability. Stability is another of our vows. And part of stability is being able to stand and listen to the word that is given. Don’t run. If it causes you to hear of things in yourself that need to be changed, stand firm and listen. And it will bring healing. It says in the Holy Rule of St. Benedict “To prefer nothing to the Love of Christ.” (RB 4:21) That is the only way to fight evil. Who and what do you prefer in your own life? What voice do you answer?

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