The greatest of all adventures

Looking back at my young adult life, Advent has always been a special season. It’s a time to reconnect with folks, wear warmer clothes, go to plenty of social events. And for me personally, it could mean more time at the coffee shop meeting old friends, sharing stories, and a good laugh. It’s all part of the waiting period for Jesus’ birth.

Yet, out of all Advent experiences, this year perhaps is the greatest of all. With Dulce pregnant, I can’t help be in awe of such a beautiful gift. As a spouse, watching Dulce progress through this pregnancy, I have come to a deeper reverence for motherhood. I am amazed even to this point, she has never complained about all the discomfort. She talks to our child with such love and tenderness and I admire her. I come to love her more than I did yesterday. She is an awesome mother and God-willing, I hope to be a good father.

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Being a parent makes me reflect on Saint Joseph and the Blessed Mother and their long journey to Bethlehem. I call on Saint Jopseh a lot these days to help guide my heart to do what’s best for our family as we prepare our home for our first born. He had such a deep trust in God’s perfect plan. I feel very close to the Holy Family in the season where we remember how God has come utterly close to humanity.

This past weekend, we were showered with so much love from Dulce’s family and friends in Sacramento .. to help us along the way on the greatest adventure of life … raising a family! 48247008_2060835680641900_4917416294661226496_n.jpg

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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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