Discernment and Advent: called to new life

By Amy Taylor, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration on Thursday, December 6th 2018


"God creates ways to fill in the holes we're convinced might swallow us up"


Image courtesy pixabay.com

Life, as well all know, includes instances in which things don’t work out the way we plan and dream. It could be an important exam that, despite long hours of study, garners a bad grade; disappoints and shatters your confidence. Or, perhaps it is the sudden end to a relationship that breaks your heart. It is in these raw, emotionally exhausting and vulnerable experiences that we stand before God, mourning our losses and grappling with what feels like the worst time in life — one leading to doubts and questions of our own motives, goals and identity.

If you’ve ever sunk to the depths of such despair — your own rock bottom — you will understand this week’s first reading as we hear the words from Baruch. The people are in agony; separated and lost with thoughts that they have been forgotten. But this is not true. God calls them to new life; reminds them that all is not lost. They will be happy again. They will have all they need. They are called out of mourning, reassured and given a renewed sense of purpose. With God’s encouragement, the fading light of what looks like the end can actually reveal the footholds of a new beginning — not only survival but hope and happiness.

God‘s light and love never dissipates. Friends and family pray you through, even if silently; under the guise of leaving you to find your own way through grief or challenge. They, like God, have not abandoned you in your time of need. 

The Gospel is yet another source of encouragement, reminding us all this Advent season that every experience in life can be a stepping stone as we move into the future. God creates ways to fill in the holes we’re convinced might swallow us up.

As we reflect on the second week of Advent let us consider …

•    How has God guided you along a treacherous path to restore your joy?
•    How are you paying it forward and helping a friend or family member who may be suffering?
•    How have you experienced disappointment or loss on your discernment journey? 
•    How has God been with you … every step of the way?

Are you discerning religious life? Walking with someone who is? We invite you to share this link, www.fspa.org/showmeasign, and join the conversation. And, stay tuned to Show me a sign for new videos in the FSPA discernment series!


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Joan Weisenbeck,FSPA Says:
12/06/2018 11:16am
Amy, you write lovely reflections. Thank you.

Dora María del Rosario Says:
12/12/2018 6:54am
Now, retired at 55, looking back, I see that everything I have lived, longed for and thought, has been fulfilled and I can not help but get on my knees to say: "In the name of Jesus, bend all knee, in Heaven, on earth and in the depths, and every tongue proclaim, to the Glory of God the Father, JESUS ​​CHRIST IS THE LORD! "

Jane Comeau Says:
12/12/2018 8:45am
Advent blessings! Thank you for this reflection.

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