Advent 2

Peace is not the absence of war and is not limited to the balance of powers between two enemies…  Peace is the tranquility of order.  Peace is the work of justice and the effect of charity.

–Catechism of the Catholic Church 2304

It is easy for us to forget what Peace is when we do not have the Light of Christ to shine in our darkness.  Sin brings darkness into our life.  It causes us to keep secrets, to feel shame about our actions, and wills us to be unsure of our own salvation. Every time we act in sin, it pulls our eyes away from God and onto our selves.  Like Adam and Eve in the beginning of Genesis.  Before sin they were focused on God, after sin they noticed that they were naked and became self-conscious.  Before sin they were in a state of original justice and truly felt the effects of each others love and God’s love.  Like Adam and Eve, after sin, we too are in need of the promise of God’s peace that he will bring upon the advent of Christ.

Most Christians today have a hijacked view of what this season is about.  People pile on more and more things to do and to buy, making their lives even more busy and poor.  This results in neglecting the true and authentic peace that is before all people.  During this week of Advent we are preparing ourselves to live in the peace that Christ brings by putting all things in our life in its correct order, and through that we will be living in justice and acting in charity.

The ruler by which we measure the importance of things is found in the Ten Commandments.  In the gospel of Mark, Jesus condenses the Commandments into two actions.  “The first is this: ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  There is no other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:29-31).  All Ten Commandments are found in these two actions.  To put it in different words, God comes first, people come second, you come third and at a distant fourth, material things.  When the correct order of life gets off balance it is done so at the risk of losing true peace.  Try to place any one of these out of order and see if peace can be lasting.  If the order of peace is not maintained then there is no room for the works of justice to take place, and for the effects of charity to be received.

If peace is the work of justice and the effect of charity, then to receive peace means to be in the correct worship of God: the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.  This does not mean that we are to attend Mass Sunday out of an obligation or out of expectations from others. Rather, correct worship of God means to Love God above all things with everything you have.  Conforming your will to His and struggling faithfully through the teachings of the Church that might confront your personal beliefs.  We must rid ourselves of everything that separates us from Christ and His body, the Church.  Reconciliation and fasting and regular reception of the Eucharist are what we are called to, so that we too can share in the peace that Christ brings.

The more we put everything in our life in its correct place, the more we will know and live peace in our lives.  The goal of Advent begins with the end in mind.  The end in mind is the second coming of Christ, a new advent, and the resurrection.  Be found this Advent season prepared and waiting for Christ.

 

Prayer:

O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me.

From the desire of being esteemed,

Deliver me, Jesus.

 From the desire of being loved…

From the desire of being extolled …

From the desire of being honored …

From the desire of being praised …

From the desire of being preferred to others…

From the desire of being consulted …

From the desire of being approved …

From the fear of being humiliated …

From the fear of being despised…

From the fear of suffering rebukes …

From the fear of being calumniated …

From the fear of being forgotten …

From the fear of being ridiculed …

From the fear of being wronged …

From the fear of being suspected …

That others may be loved more than I,

Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be esteemed more than I …

That, in the opinion of the world,

others may increase and I may decrease …

That others may be chosen and I set aside …

That others may be praised and I unnoticed …

That others may be preferred to me in everything…

That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should…

“Our hearts are restless until they rest in You.” –St. Augustine

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