On Saturday, December 4th, sixty-three Regnum Christi women and friends gathered at the Church of the Holy Spirit in Stamford for the first in-person Advent retreat in two years. It was so lovely to be reunited with old friends and new ones. Fr. Eric presented two beautiful reflections with prayer time and the opportunity for confession in between, followed by Mass.
Father began talking about Mary’s “Yes.” Her full cooperation with the Divine Will of God divides all of time. There was the before and after of her perfect “Fiat.”
How do we imitate Mary and say “yes” to the will of our Lord during this special time of Advent? We can look to Mary for “tips.” How did she spend her time preparing for the coming of our Lord? Did she fight the crowds at the mall on Black Friday? Did she fret over ever last Christmas decoration? Probably not. Instead, Mary left for a long journey to her cousin, Elizabeth, to take care of her in her final months of pregnancy. She served others. She worked. She prayed. Her instinct was to love her neighbor.
Mary was able to make time and space for God and others, to lift her mind and heart to Him, even when she had so much to deal with in her own life.
Father asked us to reflect on the Holy Family in the second reflection. For the majority of Jesus’ life, they lived an ordinary existence. Yet, by trusting God and living in the moment, it was extraordinary.
Mary and Joseph received, in faith, whatever God was giving them in the moment and made the best out of their situation. God threw them many curveballs, but they remained docile and did not get caught up in inconsequential things. They stayed calm, prayed, and listened to His prompts.
We, too, need to thank God for what he allows to unfold in our lives. Take whatever comes to us from his hands as a gift of love and work with it.
Here are some tips on how to live in this moment of Advent:
- Don’t do too much. Stick to your commitments and do them well.
- Turn work into prayer. Dedicate your work moments to others. Do work well, humbly with apostolic intentions. “This is my gift to you, God.”
- Remember, it’s not about you or your expectations
- Do hidden acts of kindness
- Make yourself a gift to others
- Cut out the noise (have a shopping deadline)
- Meditate on the Holy Family
- Before Christmas, get to the sacrament of confession.
- Frequent Mass, and go to adoration
God asks us to be docile. We have to make space so God can move us. He is trying to speak to us all day. He wants to teach us how to live moment by moment. As we receive Him in the Eucharist, let’s reflect on how Mary received Jesus into her womb. We allow Jesus into our body and our heart. And then we share our heart with Him.