Permanent: Saturday 12pm to 1pm
Temporary: Monday 5am to 6am—14th December to 13th January
Temporary: Thursday 11pm—12pm—10th December to 9th January
The first Sunday of Advent the theme is: “Stay awake.” If we don’t stay awake, we will be found wanting when Our Lord returns. In Luke’s Gospel Jesus said: “Stay awake, pray at all times for the strength to survive all that is going to happen.” (Luke 21:36).
How can a person pray constantly? Firstly, begin the day with a good amount of prayer. Archbishop Fulton Sheen and Blessed Mother Teresa said that the ‘answer to life’ is to begin each day with an hour of prayer. Doctors tell us that humans should have food at the beginning of the day in order to do what our bodies and minds need to do for that day. Therefore, how much more important it is to have spiritual food at the beginning of the day in order to grow in:
2. To overcome temptation.
3. To love our neighbour.
4. To carry our cross.
5. To be nourished by God’s Grace.
We are now at the beginning of Advent. Four weeks of spiritual preparation for the birthday of Our Lord. One way to prepare oneself spiritually is to make a commitment to spend one hour a week in the perpetual adoration chapel – in the presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.
Choose just one hour in a week to be with Jesus – do this for the 4 weeks of Advent – that is just 4 times. In the presence of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament we do what the Angels and Saints do in heaven:
Continually receive the fullness of God’s love, life and power.
Complete or total fulfillment.
where there is always more.
Perhaps the best prayer to use in order to pray constantly is the Rosary. Our parish patron saint, St Bernadette, after seeing Our Blessed Mother at Lourdes, prayed the Rosary almost constantly because from then on, she refused to be separated from Our Mother. When St Padre Pio was asked why he prayed the Rosary almost constantly, he replied: “because my Mother has never refused me anything.”
St John Paul II prayed the Rosary almost constantly and made over 20 visits a day to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, plus, he would spend an entire night in his chapel, almost every week. There is a person who come here to Mass who prays 9 Rosaries a day.
Also, the Rosary should be prayed constantly because it is so powerful. When we pray the Rosary, we don’t pray to Our Mother, but we pray with her – to her Son and when Our Mother asks her Son for anything He never refuses. This is in line with the Jewish tradition which holds supreme honour to a mother. King Solomon, for example, consulted his mother when a major decision had to be made.
That would make Jesus very happy because He wants us to have all the Grace He can give. He wants to use as powerfully as possible.
God wants to work in us powerfully as possible particularly at this time in history where there is so much evil and pain. It appears that the devil is winning the battle and making great strides (to destroy the Catholic Church and) establish his satanic kingdom on earth (especially through violence, persecution of the church, vile temptations and a spirit of confusion).
Hearing confessions at a retreat for young adults I encountered much brokenness. Young people disliking things about themselves, young people addicted to a life of sin. As result, some young people were in depression and some had a mental illness. (These are symptoms of a world in decay).
In order to defeat the devil God wants to work in us as powerfully as possible – as powerfully as He worked in His Son. In fact, Jesus said: “Those after Me will do even greater works than I.” We need to realize how huge God’s design is for us. How significant we are to God’s plan to restore His Kingdom to earth.
We are at war. The battle is tough.
Will we defeat the devil, or will he defeat us?
In today’s Gospel Jesus says we need to “stay awake and pray at all times for the strength to survive all that is going to happen.”
Fr Doug Harris 2020