Monday, December 7, 2009

"Open Our Hearts in Welcome"

Happy Monday to you all. We had another lovely snowfall over night. It looks like we are going to get walloped with a snowstorm tomorrow into Wednesday. Probably going to be a white Christmas in these parts. Pictured above is a sculpture in Chicago's Millennium Park. It is called "Cloud Gate." We Chicagoans affectionately call it "the bean." Here's another photo to help you see it in context:

I hope you had an inspiring celebration of the Second Sunday of Advent. Our parish's approach to the use of silence, particularly during the introductory rites, continues to go well. I noticed yesterday that with the "space" that the silence provides, I was much more tuned into the opening prayer:

God of power and mercy,
open our hearts in welcome.
Remove the things that hinder us from receiving Christ with joy,
so that we may share his wisdom
and become one with him
when he comes in glory,
for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The "open our hearts in welcome" stayed with me for the better part of the day. As I cleaned the house and did some decorating, I was struck by what it really means to have a heart that is open in welcome. It made me see that God is constantly breaking into our days in all kinds of ways; we just need to be open to these discoveries.

I hope that as Advent continues to unfold, your heart will be open in welcome to the ways that the Lord is trying to break into your life.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

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