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Franciscan Spirit Blog

The Gifts of Advent Day 2: Our Busy Lives

Nov 29, 2021
The Gifts of Advent Day 2: Our Busy Lives

Beware that your hearts don’t become drowsy from
carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life.

—Luke 21:34 


Sometimes religious people can get carried away with separating Advent from the Christmas season, refusing invitations to pre-Christmas parties and banning all Christmas music and decorations until December 25. 

This can especially be an issue for people deeply involved in parish liturgies and activities. Advent begins to feel like a penitential season with no celebration allowed. But life rarely fits into the neat compartments of an IKEA shelving unit. We can strive to hold onto the quiet withdrawal of the ideal Advent, but when that means refusing the hospitality of another’s invitation, we might need to reconsider our commitments.

We take seriously the words of Jesus in Luke’s Gospel when he warns against “carousing and drunkenness.” But he also warns against “the anxieties of daily life.”

We know that especially in Luke’s Gospel, Jesus was fond of a dinner party or a celebration with friends. And it’s from Luke that we hear the story of Mary and Martha. When Martha, busy about the many tasks of hospitality, asks Jesus to make her sister, sitting at his feet, help in the kitchen, he tells her, “Martha, Martha, you are busy and anxious about many things. Mary has chosen the better part.”

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the many tasks of this season of preparation. Cleaning, cooking, shopping, wrapping packages, cleaning some more, baking, doing dishes, going on one more shopping excursion. As so often happens during busy times, we find ourselves going to bed late, getting up early, grabbing fast food on the go, skipping a workout at the gym because we don’t have time, and generally not taking good care of ourselves. Then we go to parties where we eat too much rich, sweet food, and drink one too many alcoholic beverages and the downward spiral continues.

How might this holy season keep us focused?


Support the friars this Advent!

Take a Deep Breath

Sit quietly for five or 10 minutes today. Pay attention to your breathing. Hear Jesus say, “You are busy and anxious about many things.” You know what those anxieties are. As you breathe in calm reassurance, breathe out those anxieties and turn them over to the Lord.

A Simple Gift

Ask your body and your spirit what they need at this time. It might be rest. Then again it might be more exercise. Our needs change throughout our lives and we don’t always pay attention to that. Take a walk. Take a nap. Do both. Cancel an engagement and stay home for the evening. Or resist the pull of the recliner and Netflix and go to dinner with a good friend. The main thing is to take time to ask yourself in any given moment if what you’re doing is really what you need or if another choice would be better. Then make the better choice, choose the better part.



Comments

Frank A Carpenito
Mon, 11/29/2021 - 08:00 AM
Frank A Carpenito
Very incite full and thought provoking !
Mary
Mon, 11/29/2021 - 08:26 AM
Mary
Making every moment intentional rather than automatic or a knee jerk response. Abba, thank you. Lord, walk with me. Spirit, guide my steps.
Armando Lugo
Mon, 11/29/2021 - 08:29 AM
Armando Lugo
Thank for your message of His love.
Judy Lyons
Mon, 11/29/2021 - 08:31 AM
Judy Lyons
Just wanted to say thank you for your wisdom. Ever since I "discovered" you, you have added to my understanding of the faith and what that means in my life. Thank you and have a blessed Advent!
Samuel Omeje
Mon, 11/29/2021 - 09:01 AM
Samuel Omeje
The lesson from this prayer is for us to desist from carousing and drunkenness. God will help us.
Kathleen Lynch
Mon, 11/29/2021 - 10:27 AM
Kathleen Lynch
Beautiful message, that God loves us, we have significance, we have worth. Thank you.
Judith
Mon, 11/29/2021 - 10:51 AM
Judith
Thank you for that very practical spiritual advice that I can use. I love the idea: "As you breathe in calm reassurance, breathe out those anxieties and turn them over to the Lord." I'm going to start that today!
Jane
Mon, 11/29/2021 - 05:10 PM
Jane
Relax and breathing is what i forget; thank you reminding me. Focus on family...
John Seryak
Mon, 11/29/2021 - 05:31 PM
John Seryak
So nice to have this resource for daily Advent observance. Thanks to all who worked to provide this.
Carmela
Mon, 11/29/2021 - 06:00 PM
Carmela
We need to be reminded to count our blessings ! My beautiful granddaughter who has leukemia had a second bone marrow transplant . Gods blessing to us this Christmas .
Hubert Myo
Mon, 11/29/2021 - 09:41 PM
Hubert Myo
A Great invitation to sit beside the manger where Baby Jesus reposes peacefully. Heartfelt thanks for a spiritual guidance of yours.
Marcia Smith
Thu, 12/02/2021 - 04:19 AM
Marcia Smith
I am thankful for the invitation to take the time and be still fir a while. To me, it says "Be Still for the Presence of the Lord'! I have been keeping very busy with the garden and other chores around my yard, and this constant being on the go had been coupled with mounting anxiety about dwindling finances ! I need to stop, be still and hush the clamour of my mind! I think at the Altar at my church I can be still today!

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