As the earth brings forth its plants, and a garden makes its growth spring up, so will the Lord God make justice and praise spring up before all the nations.
- Isaiah 61:1-2A
It is true that sometimes life sets up challenges that are incomprehensible where we ask ourselves, why me? Or worse, why must my loved one suffer? In the time of Advent we await the arrival of our Lord but we also await the arrival of His light to illuminate the answers to these deepest questions.
Last year, due to an illness that almost took my sister away from us, my family was asking these very questions. But she fought through the hardest winter of her life and blossomed radiantly once again. She is a young woman that fought hard and won. We all did. For us this year, the arrival of God's Light is the return of my sister's health and the beautiful medical results that fill us with good news. How is God arriving in your life this Advent?
- Antonieta Singer, Spanish Teacher
Lord, help me to speak the truth in front of the strong
and not say lies to gain the applause of the weak.
If you give me fortune, don't take happiness away from me.
If you give me strength, don't take reason away from me.
If you give me success, don't take humility away from me.
If you give me humility, don't take dignity away from me.
Help us always to see the other side of the coin.
Do not let me blame others of treason
for not thinking like me.
Teach me to love people as myself
and to judge myself as others.
Do not let me fall into pride if I triumph
nor in despair if I fail.
Rather, remind me that failure
is the experience which precedes triumph.
Teach me that forgiving is the grandest for the strong
and that revenge is the primitive sign of the weak.
If you take away my fortune, leave me with hope.
If you take away success, leave me with the strength
to triumph from defeat.
If I fail people, give me the courage to ask pardon.
If the people fail me, give me the courage to forgive.
Lord, if I forget You, don't forget me.
- St. Alberto Hurtado, S.J. (1901 - 1952)