Regina is the Co-coordinator of the Associate Relationship for Blessed Sacrament Province. Her reflection reveals how the Advent scriptures bring light to our life’s concerns.
When I’m stressed or overwhelmed, I say a prayer and tell myself to turn the problem over to Jesus. I do this pretty often and since I don’t want to wear out my welcome, I switch over to others including Mary, Marguerite Bourgeoys and Therese of Lisieux. This advent season I’ve been worried about my sister and her accelerating memory loss which is more and more pronounced over time. My mother suffered from early onset Alzheimer’s and my anxiety is palpable and affecting my ability to focus and stay somewhat centered.
Sister Ann Marie McDougall – A Mission of Compassion
On November 9, we met Sister Ann Marie at Parkland Residence in Sydney, Nova Scotia. Sister Ann Marie would have been very happy to give us a filmed interview, only that a regrettable fall forced us to change our plans. Fortunately, Sister Ann Marie was not seriously hurt. However, because of the bruises on her face, it was best to put away the camera for another time. Still, nothing dampens Sister Ann Marie’s humour! To those who asked her what had happened to her, she laughingly answered in a heartbeat, “Oh, I won the fight!” While we remember her sense of humour from our interview, the two words that describe her are: gratitude and her compassion.
Jennifer lives in Ontario and works in an agency assisting new immigrants. She reminds us how important it is not to miss Advent and to discern how we are to respond to the invitation of Advent.
We rejoice this Gaudete Sunday. The birth of our Lord is near. The readings fill our thirst for justice, calm our fears and inspire us with great hope. We hear of “abundant flowers” and “everlasting joy” (Isaiah). “The blind regain their sight” and “the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.” (Matthew) Wow! Feels like it may be Christmas already!
Not so fast. Our second reading reminds us to be patient. “Be patient, brothers and sisters, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it, until it receives the early and late rains. You too must be patient.” (James)