Advent: Mini-Lent

“The flood came and swept them all away”

(Editor’s Note: Also, see video after reading the blog to learn more about the upcoming illumination of conscience.)

Are we ourselves prepared? … Are we watchful? … Are our lanterns lit?…

Do we really take these words to heart? Or are they on the back burner; and, rather, we are living our life as we see fit; as did those in the time of Noah, when “the flood came and swept them all away” (Mat 24:39)

Advent is a sort of mini Lent, where we are called to take more extensive time once again to evaluate our lives; to examine our hearts.

MAKE NO PROVISION FOR DESIRES OF FLESH

St. Paul helps us in this examination on the first Sunday of Advent when he says:

“let us then throw off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us conduct ourselves properly as in the day, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in promiscuity and lust, not in rivalry and jealousy. Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the desires of the flesh.” Romans 13:13-14

What does it mean for us to:

“put on Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the desires of the flesh?”

We are being called to stir up the graces of baptism. We have been baptized into Christ. As St John the Baptist says, we are called to “decrease that he might increase” within us; and St Paul says, “it is no longer I but Christ living in me.”

Elsewhere Paul tells us:

“While we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. But now we are discharged from the law, dead to that which held us captive, so that we serve not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit” (Rom 7:5,6).

The “flesh” of which St. Paul speaks, is not the body per se, but our fallen nature and all its weaknesses; and, the desires of the flesh are in opposition to the will of the Spirit, as St. Paul tells us in Galatians 5:16-24.

Due to the fall of Adam and Eve we were all born into concupiscence, the lusts of the flesh, which dominate our lives and enslave us, unless we seek to follow the Spirit’s lead. Christ came to redeem us and set us free from such lusts; which keep us in bondage, and prevent us from transcending the natural realm to live in His Kingdom here on Earth.

WOO’D BY INFINITE LOVER

Before my reversion back to the Church, my life revolved around the “flesh”; because I wasn’t living the grace of my Baptism. It wasn’t that I was living an outright sinful or promiscuous life; but even so, my life revolved around me, and my human will. I wasn’t seeking to live for God and his Divine Will each day.

I was so thirsting for something, but sought fulfillment on the finite realm; not believing that God could really sate that deepest core ache within. But then I began to hear the subtle wooing of the Divine, Infinite Lover… And as I began responding to his woo’s, I came to realize that He alone can fulfill all the deepest desires of the soul.

ADVENT CHALLENGE

So this is our challenge during this Advent Season:

To seek to “put on Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the desires of the flesh.”

This will mean something different for each of us. What are the areas in our own personal lives where we give into the lusts of the flesh?

Is Christ truly first in our hearts and our lives?

JESUS KNOCKS, ARE HEARTS OPEN?

Jesus is knocking to come into those areas, to redeem us and draw us closer to himself. Do we trust that he can really set us free? He can, but it is up to us to truly invite him into our hearts. It is up to us to be real, open and honest with him about our struggles and the areas in our lives where we would like to grow and be transformed. He is not expecting us to have it all together when we come to him, just to be honest about where we really are, and the disorders in our lives. And invite him to work miracles.

Jesus said to his disciples:

“As it was in the days of Noah,
so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
In those days before the flood,
they were eating and drinking,
marrying and giving in marriage,
up to the day that Noah entered the ark.
They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away.
So will it be also at the coming of the Son of Man…
So too, you also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come”
(Mat 24:37-44).

THE ARK OF OUR TIMES, TO ENTER

Let us remember that Noah’s Ark is a prefiguring of Mary’s Immaculate Heart, which is the Ark of the New Covenant into which we have been invited.

“Behold your Mother” (Jn 19:27).

So let us enter Her Immaculate Heart, by Consecrating our lives to Her, and to Jesus through Her… Thus, as with Noah, we will be protected against the “flood” of the spirit of the Antichrist/the anti-church which is at present so prevalent in our world.

“Come, let us climb the Lord’s Mountain… that he may instruct us in his ways, and we may walk in his paths… Let us walk in the light of the Lord!” (Is 2:2-5)

Great video on the illumination of conscience, to help prepare our hearts for Christ’s coming.

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