The theme for the final Sunday of Advent is Love. It gives us the opportunity to reflect on the love of God, and reminds us that love isn’t just something that God does….God IS love!
“We become what we love, and who we love shapes what we become. If we love things, we become a thing. If we love nothing, we become nothing. Imitation is not a literal mimicking of Christ, rather it means becoming the image of the beloved, an image disclosed through transformation. This means we are to become vessels of God’s compassionate love for others.”
-St. Clare of Assisi
In the midst of all the preparations for Christmas, it is good to ponder on St Clare’s words and to endeavour not to allow the reason for the season, to be overshadowed by getting ready to celebrate.
Knowing how busy this time of year can be, I have created a short meditation called The Blessing, to give you an opportunity to experience a time of peace and calm in God’s presence. You can find it here.
Brother Lawrence, a Carmelite monk, learned to be in God’s presence while carrying out his allotted daily chores in the monastery. You may have read the classic book, The Practice of the Presence of God.
‘Were I a preacher I should above all other things preach the practice of the presence of God,’ wrote Lawrence, ‘and, were I a director, I should advise all the world to do it: so necessary do I think it, and so easy too… All we have to do is love.’
In the New Living Translation of the Bible there are 229 references to ‘presence’. I would like to invite you to read through the following verses slowly, three times and choose the one that resonates most with you. Then take a few moments to ponder on it. Slowly turn your chosen verse over and over in your mind and see what God will reveal to you through it.
- I was the architect at his side. I was his constant delight, rejoicing always in his presence. Psalm 8:20 (NLT)
- You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever. Psalm 16:11 (NLT)
- Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes. Psalm 37:7 (NLT)
- But let the godly rejoice. Let them be glad in God’s presence. Let them be filled with joy. Psalm 68:3 (NLT
- I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! Psalm 139:7 (NLT)
When you have pondered on your chosen verse, spend some moments in prayer and thanksgiving. Take the verse into the day with you and reflect on it from time to time as you go through the day.
Finally look for opportunities to take St Clare’s advice and to, “become vessels of God’s compassionate love for others.”
With thanks to Urban Abbey’s Daily Bell for the quote from St Clare of Assisi.