Advent Prayers from Catholic Relief Services

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Download as a PDF.

Download as a PDF.

Download as a PDF.
when-every-night-is-winter
Download as a PDF.

When everything around us screams “Christmas is upon us!” something in our hearts whispers, “No, not yet.  I have work to do, and God will not be fooled.”

But who among us would intentionally delay God coming into the world, to dwell as one of us as an overwhelming symbol of his abiding love? And yet, the Church sets apart this season: of preparation, of reflection, of making ready.

I once puzzled over the cry of the Baptist to fill every valley, and make all mountains low, itself an echo from the prophet Isaiah who first foretold the Christmas miracle. Yes, I thought, we do want to work to prepare, but it seems such a symbolic effort and a show of busy-ness, to turn over every shovelful of earth. But to what end?

And then I realized. Through much of the Old Testament God was understood to dwell on the mountain. Down in the valley was where humanity dwelled, longing for their creator. Over 500 times, the Scripture speaks of mountains — where the prophets ascended toward the Heavens to seek the voice of God. And this is certainly reflected in many ancient cultures.

So when Scripture speaks of flattening mountains and filling valleys, it seems what it’s calling us to do is to make all this world a fitting place for God to dwell.

Catholic Relief Services works to do just that on behalf of the Catholics of the United States. In over 100 countries, this agency works to protect human life and dignity as the official international Catholic relief and development agency of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. It’s incredible to say, but with the support and solidarity of compassion of Catholics everywhere, mountains have fallen, valleys have been filled. Through your prayers and support, the Kingdom of God is revealed.

And it all begins with prayer. We invite you to use the attached prayers, in solitude or in your families and faith communities or to share as images on social media, and prepare your hearts for the coming of God into the world. Come, Lord Jesus, come!

Copyright 2015 Catholic Relief Services.

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Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. We are the official overseas relief and development agency of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and a member of Caritas International and the National Catholic Development Conference. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google Plus and Pinterest.

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