This Advent and Christmastide are a very special time of year to focus on Jesus and on our level of love for Him -- in other words, to "Come let us adore Him." One way is just to speak to Him for at least 15 minutes straight every day, even if you have to do so on returning to bed when you wake up for that middle of the night bathroom stop.
Also, there is a new book put out by the Children of Mary called I Will Think of Everything And You, Only Loving Me." It is a powerful push to put the focus of our lives on Christ and loving Him as much as we can and offering "ceaseless acts of perfect love" to Him every waking moment possible.
Simplifying your prayer life is another way to focus almost exclusively on Christ and His bidding in this holy season commemorating His birth. From reading this book (above), I decided for Advent and Christmas that my only petitionary prayers are going to be: "For everyone in my past, present, and future, and all affecting them."
I was spending a large part of my prayer life with rosaries, chaplets, etc., in lengthy and time-consuming petitions for others instead of putting all things into His hands totally, letting even the prayers along with outcomes, etc., be fully in His decision-making hands. I decided to let Him FULLY figure out what even to ask for and when, leaving all to Him alone, with full trust.
I feel I have been freed and actually feel more trust by not burdening or busying my head and heart with things out of my control anyways. I can also better "meditate on the actual mysteries" of the rosary. I feel these things have drawn me closer to Him, but I have a ways to go!
Here are further reflections written by Benedictine monks over the years for Third Order Benedictines of St. Meinrad Archabbey in Indiana at Advent and Christmas time in order to draw all of them, us, closer to Jesus, Our Lord. Dorothy Day was a Benedictine Oblate, or Third Order Benedictine, which is why many Benedictine monasteries are praying for her canonization.
Come, Holy Spirit, come, through the powerful intercessory prayers of Mother Mary on this feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Fr. Schalk preached this morning at mass how the single most powerful person to ask intercessory prayers of against Satan Himself, from the Revelations scripture of the woman clothed with the sun against the seven-headed dragon, is Mother Mary herself.
This season is also to honor her amazing yes at such a youthful age and in so dangerous a society to do such a momentous thing. We love you Jesus. We love you Mary. Come be with us, Jesus, and as the famous song of Mary says, "Come walk with us, Mary, come walk with us," "Ven Con Nosotros a Caminar, Santa Maria Ven."
"Christmastide 1941" by Fr. Bernardine Shine, OSB
.." With the activity, haste, and busyness, the world rushes towards Christmas. But what has the world to do with Christmas? The world missed the first Christmas completely because of its spirit; that same spirit reigns in the world today.
... There was no room for two spirits in the cave; the world did not enter. It had all the song, tinsel, and good cheer of the season, but it did not have Christmas.
Angels directed the shepherds to Him Who made the true Christmas. Good oblates look to St. Benedict for the spirit that feels at home in the cave, for the safe way that leads to Christ."
"The Mystery of Christmas, 1945" by Fr. Walter Sullivan, OSB
" ... Now what does it mean to believe and live the Whole Mystery of Christmas? It means to ponder in your heart with Mary how this Infant cradled in His Mother's arms is the Wisdom from on High, The Root of Jesse, The Key of David, The King of Nations, The Emmanuel, The Expectation and Savior of Peoples, The King of Peace whom the whole earth has desired to see.
... It means to ponder in your heart how the Song of God, begotten from all eternity of God the Father, took to Himself of the flesh of Mary a human body, and created for Himself a human soul.
... For the mystery of Christmas is a soul-searching test of true Christianity, and it demands of the Christian seven profound acts of living the faith:
- To see Christ in the crib of Bethlehem and to adore Him.
- To see Christ in His Church and to obey Him.
- To see Christ in Holy Mass and to offer Him.
- To see Christ in Confession and unburden the heart to Him.
- To hear Christ in the Gospel and to imitate Him.
- To see Christ in the other members of His Body and to love Him.
- To see Christ in our own bodies and to reverence Him
"Christmas 1957" by Fr. Blaise Hettich OSB
"... In the middle of the whirl of shopping, partying, ... the hub of all our activities should be Christ. It's His birthday we are celebrating.
... Let us recall that when Moses made Aaron high priest of Israel, he poured oil over his head. The people saw this as a sign of God's power coming upon the priest. Likewise, the prophet Samuel poured oil on the head of David to show that God had chosen him as king.
To the Jews, 'the Anointed' meant the great King and Priest who would be sent from god to be their leader. 'Messiah,' a Hebrew word, and 'Christ,' a Greek word, both mean 'the Anointed.' When the Son of god became a human being, He remained God. The divine Christ 'anointed' the human.
.... May God bless you this Christmas with 'the oil of gladness,' so that the Life and Love of
Christ may strengthen your hearts."
"Christmas 1964" by Fr. Gerard Ellspermann, OSB
"These are the days of quiet joy. They are days of prayer and pondering. In imitation of Mary, who 'kept in mind all these words, pondering them in her heart,' we should not let these days go by without much prayer and frequent meditation... He 'for us and our salvation was born of the Virgin Mary, and became flesh.'
"... He has come to give us life, and make us sharers in His life. The very impressive words of the Vespers refrain for the feast of the Octave of Christmas fill us with joy: 'Oh wondrous exchange! The Creator of the human race, taking onto Himself the living body, deigns to be born of a Virgin; and becoming man from no human generation, has bestowed upon us His divinity.
[Pope Leo the Great] had this to say in strong and vibrant words: 'Remember all Christians, your dignity. You have been made a partaker of the divine nature. Do not return to your former base way of life.' In a sense, then, this is the point of no return. We can't look back. We cannot even think about turning back.
... As Fr. Emerick Lawrence, OSB, has said, 'This feast means ... social justice, racial justice, tolerance, charity. It is a call to all of us to contemplate the goodness and kindness of God in His gift of Himself to us, and then to carry the fruits of our contemplation into our environment so that it may become Christ's ... It means patience and kindness in our homes, forgiveness of enemies, consideration for the weaknesses of our brethren, active charity, and a never-ending effort to promote unity in our parishes and communities."
"December 1981" by Fr. Gerard Ellspermann, OSB
"... God takes from Mary flesh. The Incarnate Word gives us in return an incomprehensible gift. This is a participation, real and intimate, in the Divine nature. And thus is achieved the most wonderful event that ever happened to us -- God giving us a share in His divine life by taking upon Himself our human life.
At this time of mutual giving of presents to those we love, we are reminded of the supreme gift God gives to us. Exchanging gifts makes us think of the admirable exchange brought about by the Incarnation. Give glory to God for His bringing peace to mankind!"
"Christmas 1993" by Fr. Michael Keene, OSB
"... St. John the Evangelist speaks of Christ who was the 'Light that shines in the darkness' and the darkness cannot overcome it. he is the 'true light that enlightens each one who comes into this world.' Our Divine Savior said to his disciples: 'I am the light of the world; whoever walks by Me has the light of life and does not walk in darkness.'
"Christmas 2000" by Fr. Meinrad Brune OSB
"... God sent Jesus to be born into a poor family, far from their home. God sent Jesus to tell us and show us how to feed the hungry, heal the sick, and offer forgiveness to sinners around us...
... We must slow down the pace and grow still... This child, the Word of God, is God's promise that we never will be asked to travel down a harder road than Jesus has gone down before...
Every time we listen to any person in his or her simple human need -- a confused teen, aching sick person, lonely shut-in, grieving widow or widower, repetitious elderly person, overburdened parents -- we celebrate Christmas."