Monday, December 4, 2017

"Let new and nobler life begin"

Happy New Liturgical Year! It's Advent, and thus the beginning of a new cycle in the Christian liturgical calendar. Every year, I try not to be overwhelmed by busy-ness, but instead try to focus on the spiritual meaning of the pre-Christmas season. This year I did what I have never done before at this time of year: attend an Advent retreat. And what a great idea that was. I hope to do something like this every year from now on.

The conference was held at St. Therese School of Faith and Mission in Bruno, SK, and the keynote speaker was Fr. Rob Arsenault from the Companions of the Cross. It was a fabulous retreat. If I were to fill you in on all the details, we'd be here for a couple of hours, so maybe I'll just break it up into smaller blog posts (yes! I'm going to be blogging REGULARLY from now on, thanks in part to to something Fr. Rob said in a homily during the weekend.)

Sunday Mass took place in the parish church in Bruno, where we conference participants and St. Therese students joined the larger community, and it was a very beautiful celebration (as is every Mass, of course, as long as we are properly disposed in the first place). There were three priests present, which always makes it seem more of a party. The entrance hymn was "Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates," which has many versions (I googled a few, and none of them were the same as the one in the hymnal we used). However, one of the last lines we sang was, appropriately, "Let new and nobler life begin."

Advent is a time for new beginnings. Strictly speaking, for the Christian, every single morning is a new beginning, but somehow a whole new season seems to give us more impetus, since it's also a time for specific prayers, preparations and home decorations.

I hope and pray that you will feel renewed and refreshed this Advent season. If I can help with that, so much the better. Pray for me; I'll be praying for you. Now, treat yourself and listen to "O Come O Come Emmanuel" in Latin, sung by some of my favourite guys, The King's Singers. (It's OK if you don't speak Latin; your soul understands even if your brain doesn't. I like how that works.)

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