Advent is a season of prayer, penance, and preparation during which we are called to make ready for the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ at Christmas. Of all the days of the year, Saint Francis of Assisi best loved Christmas, that moment when we relive the coming of God into our midst as a poor child. The Season of Advent reminds us to welcome the newborn Prince of Peace into our lives; to pay homage to him with every thought, word, and action; and to be humble, loving, and simple like the Holy Family.
In his recent apostolic letter about the enduring cultural and spiritual significance of the nativity scene, entitled Admirable Signum (Admirable Sign), Pope Francis writes: “Like Saint Francis, may we open our hearts to this simple grace, so that from our wonderment, a humble prayer may arise: a prayer of thanksgiving to God, who wished to share with us his all and thus never leave us alone.” In this spirit, let us pray together in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit:
Almighty God and Father,
all over the world,
the children of your Church
are singing the same hymn:
‘Send down dew from above, you heavens!
Let the skies pour down the rain for which we long:
Him! The Just One!
May the Savior spring from the closed womb of earth!”
Lord, we know and we have seen
what drought does to our lands.
We know, too, and we have seen
the ravages of cold and frost.
We have walked in barren fields and up dry hills,
through dead silent woods and once flowing streams.
We have seen, clearly enacted for us upon the land,
what our lives would be like without you.
We can understand now
how we should long for your coming.
Come, Lord and Savior, do not delay!
Rise up in your power and come!
Let the rain of your grace
water the parched soil of our souls.
Let the warmth of your love
thaw the coldness of our indifference.
Let the life of your Body and Blood
renew our energy and inspire us
for fruitful labors in your vineyard.
rouse our hearts from the sleep of sin,
so that we may clear a path
for your Son to enter our lives.
you bless us with the promise of redemption,
Grant us, we pray,
that we may welcome your Son now
as our Savior and Redeemer,
so that in the future,
we may gladly and confidently
meet him as our loving judge.
Glory to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.
Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us!
Saint Clare of Assisi, pray for us!
Our Lady of Angels, pray for us!
The Assisi Project
A Miracle at the Maddalena
Saturday, December 28th
Founded in 2007 by Father Jim Achadinha and Cliff Garvey, the Assisi Project is a Fellowship of Franciscans in Spirit that seeks to bring adults of all ages closer to Christ, closer to the Church, and closer to each other. On the last Saturday of every month, the Assisi Project gathers for Mass, formation, and a period of fellowship and faith sharing.
On Saturday, December 28th, we will celebrate the Christmas Season with a special program called “A Miracle at the Maddalena” during which we will share our recent experience of blessed happenings at the little chapel in Assisi that is dedicated to Saint Mary Magdalen. It is also a place where Saint Francis, Saint Clare, and their first followers ministered to lepers more than eight centuries ago.
A miracle can defined as a surprising event that cannot be explained by reason or science and is therefore considered to be the work of God or the saints. Translated from Latin, a miracle is a “sight to behold” or an “object of wonder.” Our “Miracle at the Maddalena” is a simple gift of prayers answered, prayers offered, promises made, and promises kept. It is story of a one poor sinner who felt called to confess his faith and to profess private vows of charity, prayer, and solitude.
All are invited to join us for this special event beginning with Mass at 8:00am. After Mass, Father Jim and Cliff will share their experience at the Maddalena Chapel. Coffee and refreshments will be served. Questions, comments, and faith sharing will be most appreciated. For more information, please contact Cliff at firstname.lastname@example.org. Save the date! Spread the word! Bring a friend! All are invited! All are welcome! May the Lord give you peace!
Founded in 2007, the Assisi Project is a Fellowship of Franciscans in Spirit with members, friends, and followers in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Africa. We are dedicated to helping Christian believers of all ages to more faithfully live the Gospel of Christ in the spirit of Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi. For more information about the Assisi Project and upcoming opportunities for faith formation, prayer, and pilgrimage in the Franciscan spiritual tradition, please contact Cliff Garvey at email@example.com. May the Lord give you peace!
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