A Prayer For Advent
Twenty more days! The time is approaching … But if this Day, which is awaited, will be Blessed, how sweet the present already is!
You are there my God, hidden in Mary’s womb, You are there in this little house, worshiped by her and Joseph and angels. Put me alongside them my Lord.
My Lord and my God, when I am in your Sanctuary, at the foot of the Tabernacle, are you not as close to me as You are to Saint Joseph during Advent?
When You give Yourself to me in Holy Communion, are you not as close to me, also in me, as You were in the Blessed Virgin?
My God, how happy I am, how happy I am.
But Lord, I beg You, convert me; when I am at the foot of the Tabernacle, and when I receive Holy Communion, make me be what I must be; may I no longer be indifferent, asleep in front of your Altar, may I no longer receive your divine Body lukewarmly.
Convert me, convert me, my Lord, I ask you in your Name!
Remember You promised to grant whatever is asked of You in your Name, and to give the Holy Spirit to whoever asks. My God, give me the right spirit, your Spirit, and make me spend this Advent and all the days of my life so as to glorify You as much as possible;
As much as it is possible for me, as much as it is your Will for me, which is not as much as it is possible for the Blessed Virgin or Saint Joseph, as much as it is your Will for me, as much as this is possible with the Graces that You give to me; Place me with Your holy Parents very lovingly, humbly, drowned and lost in admiration, contemplation, love, at Your feet and during this Advent and always.
And what I ask You for myself, I ask You for all people, and especially for those for whom I must pray particularly, in You, through You and for You. Amen
The Charles de Foucauld group has not been able to meet in person for most of 2020 due to the Covid pandemic. However we managed to keep in touch and offer mutual support to one another via regular monthly group telephone calls. We have also been able to keep in touch with other Charles de Foucauld groups as well as the Little Sisters throughout the country via zoom meetings.
In May 2020, we were greatly encouraged by the news that Pope Francis had cleared the way for Blessed Charles de Foucauld to be declared a saint as a result of two miracles ascribed to Charles. The first miracle, which led to his beatification in 2005, cured an Italian woman, Giovanna Citeri Pulici, of bone cancer. The second miracle concerned the preservation from an apparently life-threatening injury of a young French worker who fell 50 feet while working in a church. This second miracle happened on November 30th, 2016, the eve of the centenary of Blessed Charles’s death. We hope that the canonisation will take place in 2021 and that the Parish will be able to join us in celebrating it.
In October 2020, Pope Francis, issued an encyclical letter called “Tutti Fratelli” (which means – All brothers and sisters), words used by St Francis of Assisi. At the end of his letter, the Pope writes:” In these pages of reflection on universal fraternity, I felt inspired particularly by Saint Francis of Assisi, but also by others of our brothers and sisters who are not Catholics: Martin Luther King, Desmond Tutu, Mahatma Gandhi and many more. Yet I would like to conclude by mentioning another person of deep faith who, drawing upon his intense experience of God, made a journey of transformation towards feeling a brother to all. I am speaking of Blessed Charles de Foucauld. Blessed Charles directed his ideal of total surrender to God towards an identification with the poor, abandoned in the depths of the African desert. In that setting, he expressed his desire to feel himself a brother to every human being, and asked a friend to ‘pray to God that I truly be the brother of all’. He wanted to be, in the end, ‘the universal brother’. Yet only by identifying with the least did he come at last to be the brother of all. May God inspire that dream in each one of us. Amen.”
In early December, the Vatican launched a website at www.fratellitutti.va to provide information and ideas around the Pope’s letter “Tutti Fratelli”. This is well worth accessing. During this time of the Covid Pandemic it is all too easy to think just of ourselves. “Tutti Fratelli” encourages us to work for fraternity and social friendship as we are all involved in the construction of a better world.
I abandon myself into your hands;
do with me what you will.
Whatever you may do, I thank you:
I am ready for all, I accept all.
Let only your will be done in me,
and in all your creatures –
I wish no more than this, O Lord.
Into your hands I commend my soul:
I offer it to you with all the love of my heart,
for I love you, Lord, and so need to give myself,
to surrender myself into your hands without reserve,
and with boundless confidence,
for you are my Father.