The importance of silence

I must admit that I am usually good at holding off on decorating for Christmas until it’s really December 25, but this particular year, I could not help myself. I was never into Christmas villages until this year and my wife and I thought it would be a fun idea. A Christmas train along with children playing in the snow, a few charming little buildings brings warmth into the home, makes me sit and remember my childhood — it brings a sense of Hygee to the home! What’s that you say?

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Hygge is a Danish and Norwegian word that describes a cozy mood and comfortable friendliness which comes with the feelings of wellness and contentment. I’d personally describe it as putting on our holiday festive socks, sitting around the fireplace, listening to Christmas music and knowing that you are happily surrounded by family and friends.

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These feelings of warmth and love surrounded around the theme of light lead us into the season of Advent. Advent invites us into the silence – which is countercultural considering the shift of thankful November hearts to the immediate need for more as consumers billboard Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Silence is not lending the ear to a voice that is speaking. When dealing with God, silence is that active waiting for God to speak and act. Silence fosters a space in our delicate lives for the Word to come to us, to refashion and renew us. As we begin Advent, sit down – listen – wait – for love is on his way!

 

 

 

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As a new voyage begins

The other day, I lowered the sails on my voyage in life … to simply stop and reflect. I had concluded a chapter in my life at a place I knew all too well. It was once told that Saint Brendan was the Church on the highest elevation in the whole Archdiocese … a church in the heavens if you will.  Funny (thinking about it), Saint Brendan Parish does not even have a sign at the front of the property, thereby making it a hidden gem on the top of Laguna Honda … you had to simply know it was the Catholic church in the neighborhood.

In 2006, I came upon Saint Brendan rectory as a seminarian, enthused for the Church, pursuing the Church’s mission to spread the Gospel. During that time, I laughed my way through many stories, encounters, and relationships fostered on the corner of Rockaway Avenue.

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I’ve sat with the truth that life pulls, leads, and thrusts you in many directions. I found myself in the past year and a half returning to Saint Brendan as an employee, still passionate for the gospel – in a more matured and focused way; still in love with Christ – these days, no longer based on emotion or feelings, rather trust and surrender; still desiring to serve in the Lord’s flock – learning obedience from the Good Shepherd.

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This chapter of my life reached its final sentence this week, and I find myself in much reflection as the pages of a new chapter begin to unfold. As in every shift on life’s journey, I can’t help but be grateful to God for the joy he has infused into my heart. I know that God has been very good to me. God has allowed me to reconnect, be renewed, refreshed.

Finishing this chapter and moving on the next one, I am invited once again, to surrender. The Lord invites me to surrender to his awesome and perfect will. In this surrender, we are able to trust that the Lord leads me to lush green fields, new beginnings, and the opportunity to encounter him in the other. In a few days, I raise the sails again and trust that the Spirit breaths gently as he leads me to a new beginning.

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Why Remain Catholic?

In the situation, the Church finds herself today, be reassured that this is Christ’s Church.

 

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