A few years ago now when I was appointed to the Parish of the Sacred Heart in Accrington for a fortnight (I stay two years) some of us got together a little group that became known as the Advent Preservation Society. It was founded so that we could try and reclaim this holy season that the Church gives us to prepare for the birth of our Saviour.
When we reflect how commercial the approach to Christmas has become Holy Mother Church gives us this time to stop and reflect on the Second Coming of our Saviour. It is in that spirit that the Chaplain of the Society writes a reflection for members. Here are this years thoughts as we enter this time of grace.
A Message from the Chaplain
Reverend Fathers, Brothers, Sisters, Ladies and Gentleman,
Last evening I had a call to visit someone who was probably in the last few days of her life. As I walked to the house it was cold, dark and damp. The leaves had fallen from the trees and all around was showing signs of death and decay. As I entered the house and approached the bed of the sick person I recalled the a line from one ouf our Christmas Carols…. ‘down to such a world as this.’
This holy season of Advent is given to us by
so that we can
prepare our hearts and minds to receive the One who is coming at the end of time
to judge the quick and the dead by fire.
Will He find us watching in vigil and prayer with our hearts cleansed by
bodily penance? This great season of
grace is given to us so that we might prepare the Advent of our dear
Saviour. Holy Mother
When that will be no one knows the day or the hour. It could be the 25th December or it could be at some other time. Will we be ready or will we be so caught up in the things around us that we forget the reason why we are celebrating? Will we return from our late night shopping and get so entangled in the wrapping paper and the tinsel so that not a prayer is said? It is very tempting to allow ourselves to be sucked into the ways of the world with its ‘shop till you drop’ mentality and emphasis on materialism where there is no place for Christ.
As members of the Advent Preparation Society our task is greater than ever in getting people to concentrate on the real meaning of the Season and to take time to prepare in heart and mind so that we may be ready to go even unto Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass.
As this Advent Season begins my prayer for you all is that it will be a time of grace. At time for us to spend in prayer awaiting the Advent of our dear Saviour. May the Lord grant us His graces to be ever watchful and ready for Him. May the Lord richly bless all your endeavours in the service of His Holy Church and I commend each and every one of you to the Intercession of Our Blessed Lady who brought the Christ Child into this world.
May I take this opportunity to remind members that their annual subscriptions are now due and should be paid as promptly as possible.
Please also remember in your prayers the Co-Founder of the Society, Mr Leo Warren and our devoted Vice Chairman Mr Peter Schofield. May they rest in peace and rise in glory.
With all the blessings of Advent
Fr. Francis Wadsworth