November 27, 2020
Lk 21: 29-33
Then he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees; as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Becoming aware of the signs of hope
During a grace-filled retreat I had an “ah-ha” moment when I realized that there’s a huge difference between hypervigilance and deep awareness. Like many who’ve experienced trauma, I’ve spent too much time on high alert!
Hypervigilance, a form of anxiety, isn’t only problematic mentally, over time it can damage our bodies. Anxiety floods our system with cortisol, triggering inflammation, which can cause other health issues. Anxiety also inhibits our ability to apprehend what’s really going on around us, often generating reactive misinformation.
Conversely, a state of deep awareness renders us present to the moment, available to what is real and brings us peace. And the good news is, prayer, meditation, a long walk or any number of spiritual practices can help release us from hypervigilance and apprentice us to deep awareness.
With Advent almost upon us, could Jesus be drawing us toward a deepening awareness of the signs of hope all around?
Jesus, it’s so easy to get caught up in the worries and cares of the world, yet you offer freedom. As I prepare for Advent, may I open my heart in trust to you, releasing my worries so as to notice signs of your love and grace all around. Amen.
THE POPE'S PRAYERS
The examen is a prayer popularized by St. Ignatius Loyola that helps us to recognize the ways that God is present and active in our daily lives. Click on one of the following recordings made by current and graduated Prep students to be guided through the examen and see how God has been present in your life today! If you use an i-phone, make sure your mute switch is turned off to listen to the recording.
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