Receiving Advent

Receiving Advent

by Tom McGrath
Liturgical Year: Advent

One year during Advent, our parish priest invited us to write down on a slip of paper a word that named something that is keeping us from getting closer to God. He suggested it might be a fear, a resentment, or an attitude that shuts us off from the love God so wants to give. We were to fold the paper over a few times, grasp it tightly in one hand, and make a fist around it while he began to preach on the Scripture readings.

After a minute, my hand began to ache. At two minutes, my hand grew numb. At three minutes, the hand started shaking uncontrollably. He told us to open our hands. I found how hard it was to do that. After grasping the piece of paper so tightly, my hand had stiffened and seemed to have a mind of its own.

I can’t remember what else he said that day, but I have never forgotten that lesson. Hold on to a resentment, fear, or bad attitude long enough and you will become paralyzed.

As I begin Advent every year now, I start with the realization that I need to let go of any and all spiritual impediments I’m hanging onto. Advent is a time of receiving. It’s hard to receive if your hands are clasped shut. So I begin Advent once again with this prayer: Holy Spirit of God, open my hands, my eyes, my ears, all my senses, and all of my heart so I will be ready to receive your Advent blessings.

And then I sit there in the Advent darkness, my hands open before me, waiting on God.

Tom McGrath 

Tom McGrath is the author of Raising Faith Filled Kids, The Meal Box, and is one of the authors of the God’s Gift series.

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Books by Tom McGrath

Educando hijos en la plenitud de la fe

Raising Faith-Filled Kids (Spanish)

Ofrece una abundante recopilación de consejos e instrumentos fáciles para ayudar a padres y madres a seguir una senda espiritual e inspirar la virtud, la disciplina y la esperanza en sus familias.

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The Beatitudes for Families (50-pack)

In The Beatitudes for Families, the Beatitudes are beautifully presented with original artwork. On one side, you will find the words of Christ as found in Matthew 5:3-10. On the other side, you will find an adapted version of the Beatitudes written specifically for families by Tom McGrath, author of Raising Faith-Filled Kids.

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Las Bienaventuranzas para las familias (50-pack)

El Papa Francisco ha llamado a las Bienaventuranzas un "programa para la santidad" y "el camino a la verdadera felicidad", en otras palabras, la expresión de la esencia del mensaje de Cristo.

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The Works of Mercy for Families (50-pack)

In The Works of Mercy, beautiful artwork surrounds the words taken from the Gospel of Matthew. One side shows the Corporal Works of Mercy and the other shows the Spiritual Works of Mercy.

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Las obras de misericordia para las familias (50-pack)

En Las obras de misericordia las palabras tomadas del Evangelio de Mateo se presentan en un hermoso diseño. De un lado se muestran las obras de misericordia corporales y del otro las obras de misericordia espirituales.

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The Meal Box

Fun Questions and Family Tips to Get Mealtime Conversations Cookin'

Pass the salt and pepper–along with The Meal Box. Creatively fun questions combined with helpful family faith tips spice up every mealtime conversation. 54 cards in plastic case.

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En torno a la mesa

Preguntas divertidas para compartir la fe en familia

¡Sea tan amable en pasar la sal, la pimienta y En torno a la mesa para iniciar la conversación! Se han combinado preguntas chistosas y creativas que ofrecen siempre consejos prácticos en torno a la fe de los que se podrán beneficiar cada vez que se sienten a la mesa

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Raising Faith-Filled Kids

Ordinary Opportunities to Nurture Spirituality at Home

Offers a generous collection of easy tips and tools to help parents realize a spiritual path and inspire virtue, discipline, and hope in their families.

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