Friday, December 1, 2017

"Three Prayers to Carry You Through Advent" from Sister Joyce Rupp

Stained Glass Window in Church in  Quilty, Ireland

 "How often do we fail to see what's right in front of us
simply because we're not looking for it?" (Alice Camille)
Holy One, Essence of True Kindness, 
awaken my inner eye to notice how you reveal yourself through thoughtful, loving gestures, to see where and how your kindness is expressed in myself and others. Let me not miss these simple and all too often quickly-shelved revelations. Each day of this Advent season awaken and guide me to your presence through words of care and compassion, messages of hope, easy smiles, opened doors, forgiving hearts and other sources of human kindness. Let me see each gesture as an affirmation of how you dwell among us.
"O Come, O Come Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel." 
(17th century Christian hymn)
Emmanuel, God-with-us, Jesus our Companion, 
you have already come as divinity in human disguise. Each of us is called to "come," to draw near to you. It is we who need to be ransomed, to move toward freedom from the armored bias that forms around our fearful hearts. Move us away from a tendency to join the constant hostility infiltrating much of our troubled and alienated society. Help us to out-distance the layers of negative judgment that prevent us from welcoming those whom we see as "the other." Come, yes, come Emmanuel and ransom us, free us from this distress.
"Inside everyone / is a great shout of joy / waiting to be born." 
(David Whyte)
Provider of Joy, Source of Delight, Awakener of Gladness, 
a song of jubilant tidings like that of the Bethlehem angels awaits coming to birth within the marrow of my soul. Sadly, this joy often lies hidden in the bad news of the day.This Advent I will allow your transparent joy to fill my voice, to let it course through the hurry and scurry of my activities. I will remember the immense joy associated with your birth and the profound, enduring teachings you gave to our world: love is stronger than death; kindness can overcome divisiveness; divine grace will always be more powerful than harbored hate. I pray with confidence that you will birth your joy within me.
May this Advent season lead you to a peace-filled, joyful Christmas.
Joyce Rupp

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