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Advent

3 2us by Father Anthony Doe       

"Advent is the time when we pray that the Holy Spirit will move deeply and mysteriously in the hearts of all of us; will prepare that place where Jesus can be born deep within our own lives, our own spirits, our own hearts, as he was born in the life of his mother Mary."

Sunday Evangelium with Fr Andrew Pinsent on 1st Sunday of Advent      
[Recorded in 2010 - hence reference to Benedict XVI rather than Pope Francis :o]

"How then do we enter the ark and remain in the ark? Well, Jesus warns us that being in the ark, or out of the ark, is a spiritual state more than a physical location. On the day of judgement, he warns us that physical proximity will not determine our eternal destiny - two men will be out in the field, one will be taken and one will be left. We remain in spiritual communion with the Church in practical, every day ways. Our principal means are the Sacraments, especially Confession and Communion. It is also essential however that we develop and maintain a habit of daily prayer. If we put God first in our lives, then we lose nothing. All that we do will ultimately be well-ordered and fruitful. May God keep us safely in the ark of the Church, whatever the storms of this life, and bring us one day safely to the shore of His eternal kingdom."

Sunday Evangelium with Fr Marcus Holden on 2nd Sunday of Advent      

"Christmas is not just a memory or an aspiration. It's a living experience because the babe who was born still lives and we receive him whom the angels adored. The very word Christmas means the Mass of Christ. We celebrate Christmas by getting in on the act, by gazing in wonder like the shepherds and adoring like the wise men. 'Prepare ye the way of the Lord; make straight his paths.' That's not just a historical call, it's a call to us today. The spirit of Advent present is also the spirit of John the Baptist. He is the last prophet but he is also the first Christian convert, sanctified in his mother's womb. Our faith must lead to conversion - he calls us to repent - it must also lead to action .. Advent is one of the 2 most important times of the year to go to confession .. The message of Advent present is that God can and will surprise us: be not afraid."

Sunday Evangelium with Fr Marcus Holden on 3rd Sunday of Advent      

"This joy that we speak about now is a joy that is filled with substance. It means that we're basically and irrevocably a hope-filled people, that Christ is our joy and that he comes to us. That is why we rejoice. We know that on this great stage of the world we are in a divine comedy, not a tragedy. We don't know the details of the script but we know the general outline. We know that it has all been guaranteed in its good endings, no matter how difficult things may get within the story. Life is full of light and shadow but it ends in complete and total light."

Sunday Evangelium with Fr Marcus Holden on 4th Sunday of Advent      

"It brings joy to the heart of God when we confess and the priest feels that joy. Don't put off that greatest feeling of being reconciled. Strike while the iron is hot, otherwise the usual cycle of self-deception will take hold of us. Perhaps the greatest feeling in the world is coming away from confession knowing that we are forgiven completely and are one in our relationship with God, that we are fit for heaven, that we are in a state of grace, that light and life have returned to our souls. G.K. Chesterton, when asked why he became a Catholic, would say "To have my sins forgiven." And he said he was afraid because he was fat and he would get stuck in the box, but, after his first confession, someone asked him how he felt and he answered "I may be grey and gouty but I am just 2 minutes old." And that is what happens when we confess - we are reborn, we are revivified to live forever - there is no greater miracle than that. It is the most important preparation now for the coming of Christ at Christmas - think of Mary and Joseph. We are told that they prepare a place for him in a stable. Our souls are lowly stables but we can make of our hearts a place for him. We could bring back love and the way to do this is through confession."