This YouTube video is in two parts. The first part shows Mother Teresa talking about her work and that of her sisters. The second part is a recording of the beautiful song Christ be our light by Bernadette Farrell. If you wish to follow the lyrics, they are below the video clip.



Christ be our light
by Bernadette Farrell

1. Longing for light, we wait in darkness.
Longing for truth, we turn to you.
Make us your own, your holy people,
light for the world to see.

Refrain

Christ, be our light! Shine in our hearts.
Shine through the darkness.
Christ, be our light!
Shine in your church gathered today.

2. Longing for peace, our world is troubled.
Longing for hope, many despair.
Your word alone has pow’r to save us.
Make us your living voice.

3. Longing for food, many are hungry.
Longing for water, many still thirst.
Make us your bread, broken for others,
shared until all are fed.

4. Longing for shelter, many are homeless.
Longing for warmth, many are cold.
Make us your building, sheltering others,
walls made of living stone.

5. Many the gifts, many the people,
many the hearts that yearn to belong.
Let us be servants to one another,
making your kingdom come.

So, Loving God, we pray:

Make us your holy people,
Make us your living voice,
Make us your bread,
Make us your building,
Let us be servants
      making your kingdom come.

Amen.

Another of Bernadette Farrell's songs can be heard here.

... but it is still Advent and sometimes that fact gets lost in the preparatory rush for the 'big day'.
liturgy
Here is a suggestion for some final Advent reflections for you.

The 'O Antiphons' (an antiphon is a spoken response in a church service) have traditionally been used - in the Church of England - as antiphons to the Magnificat at Evening Prayer during the period from 17th December to 23rd December. Their precise provenance is not known but they were being used as far back as the sixth century.

Here is a list of them - you can see that they comprise different ways of addressing Jesus.

O Sapientia – O Wisdom – 17th December
O Adonai – O Lord – 18th December (Adonai is actually plural - O Lords)
O Radix Jesse – O Root of Jesse – 19th December
O Clavis David – O Key of David – 20th December
O Oriens – O Sunrise – 21st December
O Rex Gentium – O Sovereign of the nations – 22nd December
O Emmanuel – O Emmanuel - 23rd December (where Emmanuel means 'God with us')

One way that you might consider using them at this time is as a 'prayer-word' during silent meditation. Simply choose one of the O Antiphons - either Latin or English - then close your eyes and repeat slowly your chosen prayer-word. If your mind gets distracted, don't worry, just come back to saying your prayer-word. You will probably find that the rhythm of saying your prayer-word with your breathing seems the most natural way to do this.

The aim in this type of meditiation is to simply rest in God's presence, to be more aware and to be open to the transforming power of God's Spirit. Aim for ten minutes initially, but the duration of this meditative form can be lengthened if and when you become more accustomed to it.

A more detailed description of praying in this way is described here.

The Benedictine monk, John Main, was a great advocate of this style of meditating.

Quotable Quote - Thomas Merton

Picture from Wikipedia


It is useless to try to make peace with ourselves by being pleased with everything we have done. In order to settle down in the quiet of our own being we must learn to be detached from the results of our own activity. We must withdraw ourselves, to some extent, from effects that are beyond our control and be content with the good will and the work that are the quiet expression of our inner life. We must be content to live without watching ourselves live, to work without expecting an immediate reward, to love without an instantaneous satisfaction, and to exist without any special recognition.

Thomas Merton in No Man is an Island


More Thomas Merton quotes

For those who like praying using the method of Lectio Divina, then this is a lovely passage to meditate with.

The area round about Galilee is described here as the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphthali - two of the original twelve tribes of the Israelites. These words are used again by Matthew in his gospel.

Remember, Lectio is not a form of Bible study - it is a way of 'praying the scriptures' - of letting the Holy Spirit bring the words alive for you now. If you want to know how to pray with a passage using Lectio Divina then here is a description.


In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he will make glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.
Picture from Wikipedia
The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who lived in a land of deep darkness—
on them light has shined.
You have multiplied the nation,
you have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you
as with joy at the harvest,
as people exult when dividing plunder.
For the yoke of their burden,
and the bar across their shoulders,
the rod of their oppressor,
you have broken as on the day of Midian.

Isaiah 9.1-4

The Advent Wreath

Have you ever wondered where the tradition of an Advent wreath comes from? We hang wreaths on our doors; and each week the church lights a candle in its Advent wreath. But have you thought of lighting candles in an Advent wreath of your own at home - rather than hanging a wreath on your door? Or perhaps doing both?

Described here
is a form of words for lighting your own Advent candles at home and some information on its origins.

It's not too late to start! Why not make your own wreath?