Posts Tagged ‘Devotion’

Advent Reflection, Day Seven

Saturday, December 6th, 2008
Zimbabwe children

Jubilant village children in Zimbabwe. Photo by Tom Price/CRS.

Today’s Readings

“God’s gifts put man’s best dreams to shame.”
– Elizabeth Barrett Browning, English poet

Reflect: The first week of Advent is coming to an end. Are you discovering a different meaning for the season of Advent this year? Has your holy transformation cultivated solidarity with others? Through God’s presence in our lives, and our presence in the lives of others, Advent comes alive. Each day of the coming weeks, let us continue the dialogue.

Jesus, I am preparing for your birth with joyful meaning, in solidarity with my global family. Amen.

Act: View the CRS Prayer slide reflection, In My Prayer (located under the sub-heading, Solidarity with Africa.)

Advent Reflection, Day Six

Friday, December 5th, 2008
Theater Group

The Twayovoka Theater Group performing sidewalk dramas on social issues. Photo by David Snyder for CRS.

Today’s Readings

“For the Lord, our Light and our Love, has turned the night into day.”
– Dan Schutte, from the song “City of God”

Reflect: Most of our news comes from mainstream media such as TV or radio. In developing nations, news is often spread by word of mouth and through stories. How did the news of Jesus’ birth disperse? How soon did people actually hear of it? Imagine the excitement and hope that all people felt. Today, think about how you spread the news of Jesus.

God, I need your encouragement today to be a disciple of peace. Amen.

Act: Learn more about CRS work with the Catholic Peacebuilding Network in Colombia.

Advent Reflection, Day Five

Thursday, December 4th, 2008
Gonaives mud

Exhausted from the toll of AIDS. Photo by Sean Sprague/CRS.

Today’s Readings

“And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is right.”
– 2 Thessalonians 3:13

Reflect: Today is the middle of the first week of Advent. Let us remain enthusiastic in our prayer. Let us not tire or become bored with the everyday. When we feel despair or exhaustion, we can turn to Christ and to one another, enveloping a human partnership of support with the Divine. Help us to remember that a hopeful Christ is ever-present in our lives.

God, light within me a spark of vigor for meaningful life. Amen.

Act: Read the stories about the people CRS serves in Benin.

Advent Reflection, Day Four

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

Today’s Readings

“Looking for friendship, you gave me your hand. When I was distraught, you smiled at me; when I couldn’t find peace, you brought it to me.”
– “Whatsoever You Do” prayer

Reflect: Many of us lead busy lives, especially during the weeks before Christmas. Our activities revolve around preparation, visiting friends and family, and shopping. As we journey today, let us reflect on the gift of presence for others: sacred listening or gentle touch. This Advent, consider preparing a gift of time for someone.

Lord of compassion, rain down your mercy on us. Amen.

Act: Take some time to read the US Bishops document, “Called to Compassion and Responsibility: A Response to the HIV/AIDS Crisis”

Advent Reflection, Day Three

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008
AIDS orphans

Young AIDS orphans with a new friend in South Africa. Photo by David Snyder for CRS.

Today’s Readings

“I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and
do good while they live.”

– Ecclesiastes 3:12

Reflect: Look carefully at the girls in the picture: their joyful faces, their playful affection toward each other. What causes their smiles: the bird? God’s love for them? The certainty of Christ’s birth? In reality, these girls are AIDS orphans and understand firsthand the realities of our global health crisis. Can you imagine the lives they must lead — the emotional, mental and physical tolls of daily life? Yet, their smiles speak of hope! Today, on this third day of Advent, let us carry the image of the girls’ faces with us. Let us walk toward Christmas with unreasoned joy.

God, guide me today to share hope with a stranger. Amen.

Act: Learn about CRS’ work with AIDS orphans in South African communities.

Advent Reflection, Day Two

Monday, December 1st, 2008

Today’s Readings

“Solidarity will transform the world.”

– CRS mission statement

Reflect: Today, the 2nd day of Advent, is also World AIDS Day. Throughout our day, let us be in solidarity with 33 million of our brothers and sisters worldwide who live with HIV and AIDS. We reflect on their human dignity as children of God, and pray they are blessed with the spiritual nourishment of hope. Today, let us truly be the Body of Christ.

Lord, please, please offer some relief today for those afflicted with AIDS.
Bless them and their families with strength and possibility. Amen.

Act: Learn more about CRS’ AIDS outreach by visiting the CRS World AIDS Day site.

Advent Reflection, Day One

Sunday, November 30th, 2008

Today’s Readings

AIDS Zimbabwe

Home-based caregivers travel to visit a person with AIDS in Zimbabwe. Photo by CRS staff.

“We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that. This enables us to do something, and to do it very well. It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.”

– From the “Prayer of Oscar Romero,” a Salvadoran bishop who was murdered (during mass) for his work as an advocate of the poor

Reflect: Today we begin our 2008 Advent journey. This year, let it be different for us. As we journey toward the miracle of Jesus’ birth, let us be mindful in a different way of our actions in the world. Through hope and prayer, may we find our way to the manger, peacefully and purposefully.

God, help me today, to do something. Amen.

Act: Take a moment to look at what’s happening at this moment in CRS’ world. Keep the people we serve in your prayers today.