“It is the beautiful task of Advent to awaken in all of us memories of goodness and thus to open doors of hope.”—Pope Benedict XVI
As the world anticipates the festive spirit of the holiday season, the Catholic Church embarks on a profound and sacred journey marked by anticipation, hope and spiritual preparation known as Advent. Advent, derived from the Latin word adventus, meaning coming or arrival, invites us into a journey of spiritual renewal and awakening. The four weeks of Advent are symbolized by the lighting of candles on the Advent wreath—each candle representing aspects of our spiritual preparation: hope, peace, joy and love. These themes resonate deeply within the IHM community, guiding us in our daily prayers, reflections and interactions with others
- The first candle, hope, encourages us to remain steadfast in faith despite life’s uncertainties and challenges. If you feel overwhelmed by challenges in your life or the world, read about hope fatigue and ways to overcome it here.
- Peace, the second candle, calls us to seek inner serenity and extend harmony to the world. In a world often marred by conflicts and unrest, we strive to be instruments of peace, fostering unity and understanding among diverse communities. On Dec. 10, 2023 (Human Rights Day) Pax Christi International will host a webinar: For a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine. Register here.
- The third candle represents joy—a profound and infectious delight that springs from our relationship with God, serving others and acts of kindness. The BIG JOY Project guides you through a series of micro-actions over seven days. Sign up here.
- Love, the final candle, symbolizes the ultimate gift of God sending His Son, Jesus Christ, as an expression of His boundless love for humanity. Express your love for the global community by taking action for Human Rights Day here.
This sacred season, let us embrace the spirit of Advent—holding onto hope, fostering peace, rejoicing in joy and extending love to all. Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns offers an Advent Reflection Guide here.
Did You Know?
Every piece of plastic that has ever been produced exists today. Plastic pollution is a pressing environmental issue affecting our planet. Join us for an informative event aimed at raising awareness about the detrimental effects of plastic on our environment Wednesday, Dec. 6, from 2 – 3 p.m. in the Maxis Community Room with speaker Jeff Krcmarik of MI Dept. of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE).
You may find the IHM Justice, Peace and Sustainability Office’s Web materials useful for your committee work, presentations, mission units, ministry and other educational purposes. Be sure to check out our regularly updated online resources HERE.