The Joy of Advent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis

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What Are We Waiting For?

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By Melanie Williams (Nov 28, 2016)
At this time of the year there is a lot of hustle and bustle around us. The television is constantly showing Christmas movies, and our mailboxes are stuffed with ads for holiday sales. Plans are being made for parties, and holiday music can be heard almost everywhere we go. For Christians, though, we are in one of the most solemn times of the year. We are in a time of waiting and preparing to remember the birth of our Lord Jesus.

Perhaps you find it a little difficult to quiet your minds and hearts during this busy time of the year. Father Thaddaeus Lancton, MIC, at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, wants to share with you how St. Faustina can help us prepare for Christmas:

"The Lord appeared to St. Faustina several times emphasizing the need for simplicity, humility, and child-like trust. That's something we can practice in Advent, by trying to open our hearts in simplicity and trust to Jesus. Throughout the day when we have many concerns, anxieties, and things to do, just remember the Lord Jesus, who is about to be born. Remember that it should be for Him that we do everything that we do. The gifts that we are to offer Him are not so much things, but ourselves."

At the beginning of Advent 1936, Our Lady appeared to St. Faustina and taught her how to prepare for Christmas by striving for silence and humility, so that Jesus, who continuously dwelled in her heart, may be able to rest.

Father Thaddaeus says, "Silence is not so much being quiet and not saying anything. Silence is more the ability to let go of external noise to begin to listen to the internal noise of our own desires, our own fears, frustrations, and turn those over to the Lord to be in a conversation with Him. One need not contrast busyness on the outside with total silence on the inside, but rather in the midst of our hustle and bustle, the question is whether we turn to the Lord in the midst of it, through short prayers, by just conversing with the Lord. In that way, we can foster silence even in the midst of external noise. The key in the Christmas season — or in any season — is to be able to have a place where the Lord Jesus can be born, where He can come into our hearts."

Saint Faustina put this into practice. While she expected to be in the convent for Advent, a place of silence, she was sent away to a hospital for medical treatment. Throughout Advent she was surrounded by strangers who chattered all day, and the radio was often on in the ward. She let go of the external noise, though, and conversed with the Lord Jesus in her heart.

The Lord rewarded her for trying to keep this interior recollection. To her surprise, one of her religious sisters came to visit her on Christmas Eve and brought Faustina back to the convent to celebrate Christmas with her community.

At the midnight Mass, God's presence pierced Faustina's soul. The Blessed Virgin Mary, with the Infant Jesus and St. Joseph, appeared to her. Faustina had prepared her heart well during Advent, so it was a ready dwelling place for the Lord. This was confirmed by the Blessed Mother placing her Infant Son in Faustina's arms to hold.

Father Thaddaeus says, "The lesson of Christmas is that Jesus is born into a manger. Our hearts may not exactly be a royal palace for the Lord, but that's not what He needs. He doesn't want a royal palace. He simply wants our hearts, as wounded, as weak, as poor as they are. The only question is whether we open up those hearts, which are poor and weak, to the Lord. Just like the people at the inns: Some people turned Him away because they didn't 'have space.' There was one that did have space, even though it wasn't the best. Nonetheless, the Lord stayed there. And that's all we have to do for the Lord. We may not have the best of spaces, we may not have the best soul to offer the Lord, but we just say 'yes,' and let Him come in. He will rest there and we can adore Him."

As we prepare for Christmas this year, let us make our hearts quiet places of recollection. Let us adore Him constantly in our hearts, in all of our duties, in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. May we, like St. Faustina, receive Jesus anew in our hearts on Christmas morning.

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Elizabeth - Nov 30, 2016

St. Faustina

Pray for us. Like you were united with jesus on Christmas.

May David and Daniel family unite in matrimony this christmas

Janic - Dec 1, 2016

St. Faustian intercede for my husband John so he has a complete recovery and home by Christmas.

BC - Dec 1, 2016

Please St.Faustina, ask Our Lord to secure a good job for my husband by Christmas.

Isabel Coulter - Dec 1, 2016

For the soul of Debbie Gilbert who died today after a long struggle of cancer.
Her sufferings where united with JESUS
May she rest in peace now that her sufferings
are over.

Margaret - Dec 1, 2016

St. Faustina, please pray that I will be able to offer my poor cold heart to Jesus during this Advent season.

Elizabeth - Dec 1, 2016

Please intercede for reconciliation in our family for Christmas and financial security for an unemployed son. In Jesus Name. Amen

Deacon Max Perea - Dec 1, 2016

St. Faustina pray for the Advent Healing Service we are having on December 9th at St. John Neumann in Lubbock, Texas. May the Healing Rays of The Merciful Jesus penetrate the souls that come looking to Jesus in their hour of need

Veronica - Dec 1, 2016

St. Faustina, please pray for the souls of all the faithful departed and those who have no one to pray for them. Please pray especially for Dean, Andrew, Joel, Paul, Doug, Jessica, Amanda, Brittany and those who died in despair.

Joan - Dec 1, 2016

Thank you Lord Jesus for this Advent season. Help me be quiet and still before you that I may hear your heart beating with mine. I love you Yesua! I am here Lord. Your servent is listening.

Yvonne - Dec 1, 2016

St Faustina intervene in my son Christopher's life.

Theresa - Dec 1, 2016

St Faustian please hug my mother for me tonight and together please intercede before the thrown of God for my husbands conversion. Amen

Mary - Dec 1, 2016

please enter my wounded heart, soul and body and give me and others an opportunity to come closer in all ways to the Christ child and to giveHim all the glory by giving mor fully of ourselves to others.

Anne - Dec 1, 2016

St Faustina please help me to find time at 3:00 to say the chaplet. Work is busy at that time & I want to mark the 3:00 hour praying to the Divine Mercy. There is much to pray for.

All4glorygod@gmail.com - Dec 2, 2016

Father, what is the paragraph number of that passage? Thanks and God bless.

Yvonne - Dec 2, 2016

St.Faustina, please ask Jesus to have mercy
on my son, Brian, and to send his healing grace
upon his inflammatory condition and that the
infusions he's receiving will put him into
remission. And for my daughter-in-law's
return to God and the sacraments.
Thank you for your intercession. Please give Jesus a big hug and kiss for me and tell Him I
love Him very much and that I'm working on
my "trust " issues.


Augustine - Dec 2, 2016

St. Faustina pray for me to have increased faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Amen.

Jennifer - Dec 2, 2016

St. Faustina thank you for your prayers.

Rodwell - Dec 2, 2016

St Faustina pray for me to get a very good job and stay with my family.

Theresa Tepovich - Dec 2, 2016

I am raising my Grandson. I was blessed with custody of him 2 months ago. For my children I always had an Advent Calendar with chocolate. This year for my Grandson I made one filled with Acts of Mercy, Kindness to others and the story of Jesus' Birth. He. Is 5 and he loves it so far. Divine Mercy has changed my life and I will use what I have learned to share with all. Merry Christmas! May the peace and joy of Jesus , Mary, and Joseph be with all of us this Advent Season.
Your Sister in Christ
Theresa

Agnes - Dec 2, 2016

Dear St Faustina, please pray that I will find the right prescription drug plan for my husband who is diabetic and a stroke victim . I am overwhelmed with debt paying for his meds and it is causing me great anxiety.. we are seniors living on a fixed income but barely over the level for help. Please ask Jesus to help me resolve this problem. Help me to find that inner peace.

Sharon - Dec 2, 2016

Let's all remember that Jesus is the reason for the season!! St. Faustina, pray for all my family, friends and me to have some quiet time with Jesus to love & thank Him, to ask for His help and to know just how much He loves each and everyone of us!!! Jesus, Mary & Joseph, help us!!! Amen!

Gloria R. Reyes - Dec 2, 2016

In preparation for Christmas, Let us go to confession so we could receive Our Lord in the Blessed Eucharist with a clean and pure heart. This is the great gift we could offer the Child JESUS who is Our Lord and Saviour. A Blessed Christmas to all !

Mary - Dec 2, 2016

For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have Mercy on me and on the whole world. Thank you to each One of the Trinity.

Paul - Dec 2, 2016

St Faustina,
open my heart to Jesus,and pray that he brings our Paul back to life with his family on earth for Christmas,
tell Jesus I trust in him and love him
thank you St Faustina from the bottom of my heart

Chris - Dec 2, 2016

St. Faustina please pray that I may find true peace in myself through fully trusting in God's plan for me. Pray that my faith and closeness to Jesus continues to grow.

Sally - Dec 2, 2016

Blessed Saint Faustina, Jesus and Mary,

I give thanks this Christmas Season for your miraculous presence during our election and for the Guiding Rays of the Light of Jesus Christ that you shared with us for our healing and protection and His Glory. Let us all continue to pray fervently for the Glory of Jesus Christ and the supernatural wonders of Christmas, and for our new President Trump and all that he needs to keep his promise to Make America Great Again. May the wind be at his back as he protects Christians and Catholics, and as he champions Pro-Life and defeats the culture of death.

I give thanks for Saint Stanislaus, Jesus and Mary Papcynzki and the incredible blessings the Marians bring to our Holy Catholic Church. May the Shrine continue to bless forever all those seeking the comfort and joy of Jesus Christ and through Our Blessed Mother Mary. May our hearts rejoice this beautiful season for the gift of life we are given to serve Him. May gratitude and love fill our hearts to the brim with His precious blood, to overflowing. Let there be no room for our concerns and sufferings. May we be given the grace and wisdom to forgive and to share what He gives us the grace to learn, with others.

May we all join forces with His Eminence Cardinal Burke and all Rosary Warriors from all four corners of the earth as Operation Storm Heaven envelopes the globe in Divine Mercy.

"The greatest method of praying is to pray the Holy Rosary!" stated Saint Francis de Sales. It is through the Holy Rosary that we will obtain mercy, stop evil, convert nations and bring peace to souls and to the world!

Let us continue to touch the heart of Our Blessed Mother to obtain from Her Divine Son the merciful graces of conversion that our world so sorely needs. And let us also ask for the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary to come soon over the evil of this world, the flesh and the devil.

As we storm Heaven together, please remember especially the following intentions:

• In reparation for all the sins and offenses committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary

• For our families and the salvation of our loved ones

• That bishops and priests will have the courage to teach the Truth and defend the Faith against all her enemies both within the Church and outside the Church. And may all confusion be dispelled from the Church

• May the Culture of Life defeat the culture of death

• For all police officers that they may be guided and protected by St. Michael the Archangel in their daily duties

• That each of us grows in devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and comes closer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

For the continued global expansion of Operation Storm Heaven in 2017

http://www.catholicaction.org/take_heaven_by_storm?utm_campaign=rw_dec16_remind&utm_medium=email&utm_source=catholicaction

Merry Christmas to All. God Bless America!

julie - Dec 2, 2016

St Faustina open my heart to Jesus and pray that he brings our Paul back to life with his family on earth for Christmas,Jesus knows Paul's values,tell Jesus I rely on him ,I trust him and I love him,and waiting for Paul return
Thank you St Faustina from the bottom of my heart

Cassandra - Dec 3, 2016

Thank you for your intercession for my husband and mother. I plead for continued prayers and intercession for their health.

Yvette - Dec 4, 2016

St. Faustina, I give thanks for the gift God sent us in sending you to share your wisdom with the world; and for young people who are often in despair in this world. I ask for the prayer to accept God's calling wherever it may be, and that I may not despair and trust in Jesus' heart and mission for me. Bless me with humility and the wisdom to accept God's vision of light. Please bless my family, so that they may repent and return to the church. Bless my friend Carlos and his family so that they accept the truth of breaking your bread.

Cheryl - Dec 4, 2016

St. Faustina, please intercede in prayer for our son that he will come back to the truth of the Holy Catholic Church, and that our grandson will request baptism and accept God's truth through the Holy Catholic Church

Mona - Dec 4, 2016

Saint Faustina,
We thank the Lord for giving us such a humble and wonderful example to be able to request your intercession. Please pray for all those in my family that are lukewarm, or have left His side. That we may all, one day, be a haven for the Sacred Heart of our Lord, through His Infinitely tender heart and unfathomable Mercy. We are grateful to you!

Angela - Dec 4, 2016

Saint Faustina,
Pray for the souls of all our departed, for the sick and the lowly. Pray for all of us, children of Jesus Christ.
I would also ask you to pray for the safe of my family members that will be traveling over the holiday season and for my desire for a new job by the 1st of the January. I ask all this in Jesus Christ Name. Pray for us. Amen

Kelly Jo - Dec 4, 2016

Thank you

KRYSTYNA - Dec 15, 2016

St,Faustyna pray for my husband ,my children so they will come back to church and My daughter Teresa can pay her bills and send her angels to watch her kids,

julie - Jan 28, 2017

St.Faustina together with the prayers of our Blessed Mother Mary please pray again Jesus to intercede and ask our eternal Father in Heaven to please give us the miracle of our Paul's return to life on earth,I will make him a deacon at Jesus's service /Jesus I trust in you,the pain we have is unbearable help us please