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Living in the Midst of Longing

A few weeks ago, Joseph Cardinal Tobin of Newark gave the seminarians at Immaculate Conception Seminary a day of recollection in preparation for Advent and Christmas. In one of his conferences, he spoke about how we are “living in the midst of longing.” During the weeks leading up to Christmas, we live in a time of constant preparation complete with the hustle and bustle of shopping, decorating, cooking and baking, and making sure that everything is just perfect. But why all the preparation? Why do we put so much effort into making sure that the Christmas spirit is in the air?

Perhaps the effort that many of us put into decorating and preparing for Christmas is an outward sign of an inner longing for God’s presence in our lives. The Advent season is one in which Christians throughout the world prepare for the coming of the Lord in the flesh. It is during this time that we look deep and see what we can do to keep the Christmas spirit alive in our own lives. In the same way that we make financial sacrifices in order to provide gifts and a memorable Christmas dinner, we can make some spiritual sacrifices such as spending more time in prayer and contemplation of the great mystery of God becoming man. In the same way we clean the house and decorate it with lights and pines and tinsel, we can make our souls clean and beautiful by approaching the Sacrament of Reconciliation where God waits for us so He can forgive us. In the same way we open the door with excitement when family members arrive for the holidays, maybe we can open our minds and hearts in prayer and assistance to those who are in need, those who are oppressed throughout the community and the world, or even a person we have turned away because of our own selfishness and pride.

These next few days will be filled with excitement and expectation. The blessed moment in which the Son of God will be with us is fast approaching. Let us spend these next few days of longing for the Lord preparing ourselves so that we may draw others into the joy of living the presence of God with us.

Carlo Santa Teresa

Carlo Santa Teresa

2nd Theology
Carlo Santa Teresa attends Immaculate Conception Seminary at Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ.
Carlo Santa Teresa

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