Posts Tagged ‘Advent’

A Jesuit’s Tips for a More Meaningful Advent

Advent wreathJesuit Father Larry Gillick, director of the Deglman Center for Ignatian Spirituality at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., says that “Advent is a joyful time, if you enjoy longing.”

In our culture, “we don’t like waiting, we like instantaneous gratification,” Fr. Gillick says. So he offers several tips in the video below on how we can have an Advent that will make Christmas special.

One suggestion Fr. Gillick has is to wait to decorate the tree. “Put the Christmas tree up during Advent but don’t decorate it, indicating that there’s going to be life coming. It’s coming, but it’s not here yet,” he says.

According to Fr. Gillick, “All the scriptures of Advent are not about having, but about wanting and longing, hungering and thirsting.”

He suggests using symbols of “emptiness” such as a putting out an empty bowl or waiting to place Jesus in the Nativity scene.

“If you enjoy not having, then you’ll know what Advent is and you’ll have a full Christmas that will last longer than Christmas day,” Fr. Gillick says.

An Advent Reflection from Jesuit Father James Martin

Jesuit Father James Martin“Advent is all about desire,” an elderly Jesuit in Jesuit Father James Martin’s community used to say every year. Fr. Martin writes in America magazine that while he didn’t see it at first, now he understands what this Jesuit meant.

“Christians who celebrate Advent desire the coming of Christ into their lives in new ways. The beautiful readings from the Book of Isaiah, which we hear during Advent, describe how even the earth longs for the presence of God. The wonderful ‘O antiphons,’ sung at evening prayer and during the Gospel acclamations toward the end of Advent, speak of Christ as the ‘King of Nations and their Desire.’ The Gospel readings for the season tell of John the Baptist expressing Israel’s hope for a Messiah. Mary and Joseph look forward to the upcoming birth of a son. My friend was right. It’s all about desire,” writes Fr. Martin.

Fr. Martin points out that holy desires are different than surface wants, like wanting a new gadget or a bigger office. When Fr. Martin talks about desire, he’s “talking about our deepest longings, those that shape our lives: desires that help us know who we are to become and what we are to do. Our deep longings help know God’s desires for us, and how much God desires to be with us.”

Desire also plays a key role in a Jesuit’s life, according to Fr. Martin. “As novices, we were taught that our deep longings are important to notice. A young Jesuit who dreams of working with the poor and marginalized, or studying Scripture, or working as a retreat director, will be encouraged to pay attention to his desires. Likewise, Jesuit superiors reverence these desires when making decisions about where to assign a particular Jesuit,” he writes.

Fr. Martin concludes, “Desire is a key part of Christian spirituality because desire is a key way that God’s voice is heard in our lives. And our deepest desire, planted within us, is our Advent desire for Christ, the Desire of the Nations.”

Read the full article by Fr. Martin at the America magazine website.

Jesuits Reflect on Living in Gratitude for Advent

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For this spiritual season of preparation before Christmas, the Jesuits of the New England Province of the Society of Jesus have created a series of Advent podcasts. Jesuits reflect and meditate on the intersecting themes of Advent and Ignatian spirituality over these four weekly podcasts, which National Jesuit News will publish each week leading up to Christmas. The entire podcast series can be listened to here.

Week IV – Advent Gift and Graces

For this last week of Advent,  this podcast features Jesuit Fathers Michael Boughton, director of the Center for Ignatian Spirituality at Boston College, and William Russell, the assistant prefect of St. Mary’s Chapel at Boston College, offering their thoughts on living in gratitude, giving gifts and caring for the poor during Advent and at Christmas.

Presenters:

Russell_William

Jesuit Father William Russell is the assistant prefect of St. Mary’s Chapel at Boston College,

Boughton_Michael

Jesuit Father Michael Boughton is the director of the Center for Ignatian Spirituality at Boston College.

Jesuit Explains Imaginative Prayer for Advent

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For this spiritual season of preparation before Christmas, the Jesuits of the New England Province of the Society of Jesus have created a series of Advent podcasts. Jesuits reflect and meditate on the intersecting themes of Advent and Ignatian spirituality over these four weekly podcasts, which National Jesuit News will publish each week leading up to Christmas. The entire podcast series can be listened to here.

Week III -Imaginative Prayer

St. Ignatius developed a method of slowly reading and praying with Scripture known as “Imaginative Prayer.” Set aside some time to join Jesuit Joseph Laramie in this guided meditation on the Incarnation and the Angel Gabriel’s announcement to Mary that she would bear “the Son of the Most High” (Luke 1:32).

Presenter:

Laramie_Joseph

Jesuit Joseph Laramie is a scholastic studying theology at the Boston College School of  Theology and Ministry.

Jesuits Discuss the Use of The Examen during Advent

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For this spiritual season of preparation before Christmas, the Jesuits of the New England Province of the Society of Jesus have created a series of Advent podcasts. Jesuits reflect and meditate on the intersecting themes of Advent and Ignatian spirituality over these four weekly podcasts, which National Jesuit News will publish each week leading up to Christmas. The entire podcast series can be listened to here.

Week II – Using the Examen During Advent

God is at work at every moment of our lives, and calls us to respond. “The Examen” helps Jesuits to become more aware of God’s action in everyday life. Jesuit Fathers Jack Butler and Michael Boughton explain how the Examen works, and why it can be useful in Advent.

Presenters:

Butler_Jack

Jesuit Father Jack Butler is the Vice President of Mission and Ministry at Boston College.

Boughton_Michael

Jesuit Father Michael Boughton is the director of the Center for Ignatian Spirituality at Boston College.