Communique #9 – Spiritual Development
National Chairperson of Spiritual Development Shari Guinta, November 3, 2020.
“Let us trust in God’s work. With Him we can do great things; He will give us the joy of being His disciples, His witnesses” (A Year With Pope Francis: Daily Reflections from His Writings).
Advent is a beautiful, prayerful time of year—a time of preparation, of anticipation in the church.
As I write this, Catholics are not sure what Advent will physically look like in the church. Canadians are in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some restrictions have been lifted and then replaced. I pray the faithful will be in church for Advent and Christmas!
The following are some suggested resources if you are looking for prayers or reflections:
- Living Faith Advent: Daily Catholic Devotions
- Jesus’ Family Tree: Praying through Advent with the Jesse Tree, by Stephenie Hovland
- Praying the Jesse Tree: Devotions for Advent, by Debra Grant
- Prince of Peace: Family Devotions and Activities for Advent, by Sarah Reinhard
- Our Greatest Gift: A Wonderful Life in Christ, by Michael Hoy
- And the Word was God: Advent Devotions, Inspiration from Henri J. M. Nouwen, by Christopher Klofft
These resources may be found at www.creativecommunications.com or en.novalis.ca.
Daily reflection during Advent especially always helps me to prayerfully appreciate the season. It helps me focus and avoid the rush of the Christmas frenzy.
Something I have done in the past is to write my own daily reflection. Consider doing this and then e-mail it along to your diocesan counterparts and executive members of your provincial council.
- Read reflections of your choosing, perhaps from the resources mentioned above.
- Read daily scripture.
- Write what you take from the readings and create a reflection of your own.
- If you feel comfortable, share with others—either daily or weekly during Advent
I encourage you to ask your diocesan counterparts to urge members to read the Holy Father’s latest encyclical, Fratelli Tutti. Pope Francis speaks to social dialogue and refers to the “miracle of kindness.” Members and councils would do well to read and study the document. Look for the encyclical on the Vatican website, vatican.va/content/vatican/en.html.
Pope Francis’ Prayer Intentions
November: “Artificial Intelligence. We pray that the progress of robotics and artificial intelligence may always serve humankind.”
December: “For a Life of Prayer. We pray that our personal relationship with Jesus Christ be nourished by the Word of God and a life of prayer.”
When sending cards and greetings to family and friends, remember to purchase the Christmas postage stamp from Canada Post, “Keep Christ in Christmas.”
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).
“The story of Christ is therefore not ‘the greatest story ever told,’ but the only story ever told. It is the story from which all other stories receive their meaning and significance. The story of Christ makes history real” (Henri Nouwen, The Selfless Way of Christ: Downward Mobility and the Spiritual Life).