He becomes a child

December 14
“God’s sign is his humility. God’s sign is that he makes himself small; he becomes a child; he lets us touch him and he asks for our love. How we would prefer a different sign, an imposing, irresistible sign of God’s power and greatness! But his sign summons us to faith and love, and thus it gives us hope: this is what God is like. He has power, he is Goodness itself. He invites us to become like him. Yes indeed, we become like God if we allow ourselves to be shaped by this sign; if we ourselves learn humility and hence true greatness; if we renounce violence and use only the weapons of truth and love.”
– Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
Today’s Reflection:
How can I use the “weapons of truth and love” today? How will that change my heart into a place of humility, and ultimately, greatness?
  

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Will He find a warm heart?

December 13
“At this Christmas when Christ comes, will He find a warm heart? Mark the season of Advent by loving and serving the others with God’s own love and concern.”
-St. Teresa of Calcutta
Today’s Reflection:
Today, who is God calling you to show extra love? What needs of others are you overlooking, and how can you redirect your gaze from the mirror to Him and your neighbor?
  

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Put forth all your effort

December 12
“Behold, you have heard my mandate, my humble son; go and put forth all your effort.”
-Our Lady of Guadalupe
Today’s Reflection:
During her first apparition, Our Lady of Guadalupe spoke these words. Today, imagine our Mother speaking these words to your heart: “Daughter (or son), ‘go and put forth all your effort.'” What specific task are you being called to say “yes” to? How is God asking you to give your very own fiat this very day?
Take courage and have faith!
  

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Mary’s obedience

December 11
“The knot of Eve’s disobedience was untied by Mary’s obedience; what the virgin Eve bound through her unbelief, the Virgin Mary loosened by her faith.”
-Lumen Gentium, 56 (quoting St. Irenaeus)
Today’s Reflection:
This is one of the most profound quotes about our dearest Mother, painting a vivid illustration of how critical Mary’s role in salvation is- through her obedience, she broke apart the knot caused by Eve’s disobedience. Her perfect faith unbound the chains of Eve’s fear and disbelief. Today, ask Mother to intercede for you, praying that our precious Father will loosen the knots of fear and worry in your heart. What is He calling you to trust Him with today?
  

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Hold your beads

December 10
“In the evening when you go to sleep, hold your beads, doze off reciting them, do like those babies who go to sleep mumbling, ‘Mamma! Mamma!'”
– St. Bernadette
Today’s Reflection:
What a precious image: a baby falling asleep, knowing he or she is protected and cared for. Today, open your heart and mind to this image, but instead of a baby, place yourself in the arms of our Mother. How safe do you feel as you lie within Her care? Pray a few times, “Mamma! Mamma!”
  

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We believe

December 9
“Faith is the theological virtue by which we believe in God and believe all that he has said and revealed to us, and that Holy Church proposes for our belief, because he is truth itself. By faith ‘man freely commits his entire self to God.’ For this reason the believer seeks to know and do God’s will. ‘The righteous shall live by faith.’ Living faith ‘work[s] through charity.’
-Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1814
Today’s Reflection:
We are challenged to grow in Faith, allowing God to transform the areas in our life enveloped in fear. Our Mother is the perfect example for us: she freely committed her “entire self to God.” How can we allow her to encourage and support us as we grow deeper in Faith over the next several days?
  

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Grace means love

December 8
“Hail, full of grace. What do these words mean? The Evangelist Luke writes that Mary (Miriam), at these words spoken by the Angel, “was greatly troubled…, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be” (Lk 1:29). These words express a singular election. Grace means a particular fullness of creation through which the being, who resembles God, participates in God’s own interior life. Grace means love and the gift of God himself, the completely free gift (“given gratuitously”) in which God entrusts to man his Mystery, giving him, at the same time, the capacity of being able to bear witness to the Mystery, of filling with it his human being, his life, his thoughts, his will and his heart.”
-Pope St. John Paul II
Today’s Reflection:
How is God calling you to bear witness to His Mystery? How is our perfect Mother the example for us of one who participated in God’s own interior life?
  

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Perfect confidence

December 7
“Let us run to Mary, and, as her little children, cast ourselves into her arms with a perfect confidence.”
-St. Francis de Sales
Today’s Reflection:
Today, how can you “run” to our dear Mother? By throwing yourself into her arms, how are you demonstrating the virtue of hope, just as she threw herself in the arms of the Father? Mother, hold us close as we place all of our trust in our dear Father’s perfect will!
  

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Mary remained with her

December 6
“Mary remained with her [Elizabeth] about three months and then returned to her home.”
– Luke 1:56
Today’s Reflection:
Can you imagine how special it was for Elizabeth to have Mary stay with her for those three months? Picture their time together: how much hope do you think that He poured into their souls during such a precious time in their lives? What a joy! Who is God calling you to spend some extra time with this Advent season? Who needs you right now?
  

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The most precious thing

December 5
“Jesus Christ, after having given us all He could give, that is to say, the merit of his toils, His sufferings, and His bitter death; after having given us His Adorable Body and Blood to be the Food of our souls, willed also to give us the most precious thing He had left, which was His holy Mother.”
– St. John Vianney
Today’s Reflection:
What amazing love Jesus had for His Mother, and what incredible love He had for us that He would GIVE us His Mother! How can we imitate Christ’s love for Mary today? What does this teach us about hope?
  

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