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Perfect confidence

December 7
"Let us run to Mary, and, as her little children, cast ourselves into her arms with a perfect confidence."
-St. Francis de Sales
Today's Reflection:
Today, how can you "run" to our dear Mother? By throwing yourself into her arms, how are you demonstrating the virtue of hope, just as she threw herself in the arms of the Father? Mother, hold us close as we place all of our trust in our dear Father's perfect will!
  

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Mary remained with her

December 6
"Mary remained with her [Elizabeth] about three months and then returned to her home."
- Luke 1:56
Today's Reflection:
Can you imagine how special it was for Elizabeth to have Mary stay with her for those three months? Picture their time together: how much hope do you think that He poured into their souls during such a precious time in their lives? What a joy! Who is God calling you to spend some extra time with this Advent season? Who needs you right now?
  

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The most precious thing

December 5
"Jesus Christ, after having given us all He could give, that is to say, the merit of his toils, His sufferings, and His bitter death; after having given us His Adorable Body and Blood to be the Food of our souls, willed also to give us the most precious thing He had left, which was His holy Mother."
- St. John Vianney
Today's Reflection:
What amazing love Jesus had for His Mother, and what incredible love He had for us that He would GIVE us His Mother! How can we imitate Christ's love for Mary today? What does this teach us about hope?
  

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Shine forth

December 4
"In the interim just as the Mother of Jesus, glorified in body and soul in heaven, is the image and beginning of the Church as it is to be perfected is the world to come, so too does she shine forth on earth, until the day of the Lord shall come, as a sign of sure hope and solace to the people of God during its sojourn on earth."
-Lumen Gentium 68
Today's Reflection:
How is God calling you to shine forth during this Advent season? What hope and solace can you provide to His people as they journey over the next few weeks?
  

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A source of courage and hope

December 3
"Her [Mary's] example of faithful perseverance in doing the will of God and her heavenly reward are a source of courage and hope for all of us."
-Pope Benedict XVI
Today's Reflection:
How did Mary faithfully persevere in doing God's will? How can she be a source of comfort and support as you embrace God's will for your life, especially during this holy Advent season?
  

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Blessed are you who believed

December 2
"When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, "Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled."
-Luke 1:41-45
Today's Reflection:
What does it mean that Mary believed in the Lord's promise to her? What does this teach us about hope? How is God calling you to hope in Him this Advent season? What is He calling you to surrender to Him in order to be filled with the virtue of hope?
  

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The spirituality of waiting

December 1
"... the spirituality of waiting is not simply our waiting for God. It is also participating in God's waiting for us..."
-Henri J. M. Nouwen
Today's Reflection:
Ponder this quote. What does it mean to you? In what ways did God wait for Mary? How do you think He has been waiting for you?
  

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Born To You As Savior

 

December 25
Tall men were these, the shepherds come from flocks
And wearing sheephides with the dew still wet
Upon the wool…
No further movement
Till the youngest, kneeling still, moved on
From out the rest, and when his eyes had marked
The swaddling bands… and did not shrink at what he saw.
The full words spilled out to her in eagerness
Of quiet flocks, the brightness of the sky…
The music that had sifted
Down, more fragile than the light of stars…
The upswept choirs and surge and flight of wings:
I bring you tidings of great joy, that shall be to all the people: for this day is born to you a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord, in the city of David. And this shall be a sign unto you. You shall find the infant wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a manger…Glory to God in the highest: and on earth peace to men of goodwill.
For Reflection
How swiftly the shepherds respond! How quickly do I respond to the call of God? What causes me to hold back an immediate response? The angels tell the shepherds, “I bring you tiding of great joy…” How can these words encourage me to respond more quickly. Why do you think it is the youngest who tells Mary about what he saw? Think of this in light of Is. 11:6 and Jesus words in Mk 10:14. What thoughts do you have?
(Excerpted from A Woman Wrapped in Silence By John W. Lynch)
  

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Wrapped in Swaddling Clothes

 

December 24
A little girl
Had wandered in the night, and now within
The shadows of a broken stall, was waiting,
While the night winds and the breath of time
Were moving over her.
The beat of pulses and the hush of heat
Had made a silence more intent within
Surrounding silence. Deepening of night.
…And then a moment’s fall,
…A sigh, unheard within the dark, and then…
She…wrapped him up in swaddling clothes, and laid
Him in a manger.
She knelt and held Him close against her heart,
And in the midnight, adoration fused
With human love, and was not separate.
And very near, the man named Joseph came.
He was the first
To find her thus, the first of all the world.
And when her faint smile called for him to take
Him for a breathless moment, he was first
To know there is no other blessedness.
For Reflection
What is Mary’s interior response to Jesus? Joseph’s? What is your response to Jesus when you behold Him in the Blessed Sacrament? When you receive Him into your being at Holy Communion? How can you increase your devotion to the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? Entrust to Mary, Mother of God, your reception of her Son. Her intercession will yield abundant fruit, the Fruit of her womb.
(Excerpted from A Woman Wrapped in Silence By John W. Lynch)
  

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Joseph Knew

 

December 23
There was no room for them within the inn.
And Joseph turned away.
To find again,
A woman wrapped in silence. Had she heard?
No sign appeared, nor stir of tranquil veil
To tell of it.
But Joseph knew. And silence and the glance
That smiled at him could not shut out the need
   For shelter that was yet unsaid. He knew!
And suddenly it rose in him again
What it was he knew, and what was here
Beseeching in the night. An innocence
That had been burnished flawless to return
All brightness, till the Inexhaustible
Had searched for her this last and utter grace
That left no more to give.
…Like blessedness that had not been before…
And he was guardian. Guardian!
Whose task to fear not, but to throw his life
About her as a cloak. To be a strength
Between her and the world’s uncertainties.
To fend, and guard, and break the fall of harsh
Rejection…
He had not thought refusal was a word
Remaining in a language that had held
Her name.
For Reflection
What aspects of these lines strike you most? Consider the relationship between Mary and Jesus. How was/is rejection of her, rejection of Him? What is Joseph’s response to the rejection? How do you see in his response the charisms that mark authentic masculinity – provider, protector, leader? What do you make of the surprise he experiences as expressed in the last three lines? How have you experienced rejection in your life? During this beautiful season, ask St. Joseph’s intercession.
(Excerpted from A Woman Wrapped in Silence By John W. Lynch)
  

If you enjoy Daily Gracelines, please prayerfully consider making a donation to support and sustain our apostolate so that we may continue to provide this and all of our resources designed to nourish and grow your Catholic faith. DONATE

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