The following are some resources that I know of that you may find nurturing for your journey towards our celebration of the Nativity this year.
Daily reflections using WhatsApp
As we approach the end of our church year, we turn our mind towards Christmas, and enter a period of waiting where we are invited to reflect on our lives as Christians as a means of preparing to celebrate the birth of the Christ Child into our living moments.
Christmas is a time that touches us on many levels, emotional, financial and spiritual. It
can be a challenge for many and it can be difficult to find a balance. We provide spiritual inspirations each day directly into your WhatsApp flow.
The invitation overall is to give yourself the gift this Advent of some personal space. To be still so that together we will come more fully into the presence of Emmanuel, God with Us.
If you want to receive these daily reflections then send a WhatsApp or SMS message to Christina Malone on +353 85 7162152 or click on the following link from your mobile device to join directly: Living Advent
Please take note: Christina Malone is the administrator of the group. In order to keep this group for the daily reflections only, group members are blocked from posting messages to it. Group member details; name, profile picture and phone numbers are visible to all in the group. By joining the group you accept that:
You are not permitted to use or share any numbers with anyone outside the group.
You are not permitted to use the numbers from this group in order to contact or distribute details of any person in the group.
You can leave the WhatsApp group at any time by using the Exit Group option or by contacting Christina Malone directly.
Tarsus Scripture School
Register through Eventbrite by Clicking Here
Pray As You Go Advent Retreat
Down to Earth
The Pray As You Go Advent retreat will be a little different this year. “Down To Earth” invites you on an imaginative journey from the Incarnation to Jesus’ childhood, and everything in between. They will explore the grandeur and magnificence of God becoming flesh, but also the very human “down to earth” experience of Jesus being here with us.
Each session will be a short imaginative exercise and you will be invited to fully immerse yourself into the scene using your sensory gifts.The retreat has been written by their dedicated Pray As You Go writing team, a combination of Jesuits, members of the Jesuit Institute team, spiritual directors and Ignatian-trained writers. The sessions will be released weekly and for the first time, the retreat will continue through to the beginning of January with seven sessions in total.
The schedule for “Down To Earth” will be as follows:
Introduction: Thursday 24th November
Session 1: Monday 28th November
Session 2: Monday 5th December
Session 3: Monday 12th December
Session 4: Monday 19th December
Session 5: Monday 26th December
Session 6: Monday 2nd January
Session 7: Monday 9th January
They will announce session titles in the coming weeks! Go to Pray As You Go for more information and to follow the retreat.
Spirituality & Practice eCourse
The Grace of the Four Consents
Advent for Christians is a time of wondrous expectancy, mystery, and the rekindling of faith. The light does shine in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it, even if the news of the day and the dispositions of those around us seem to indicate otherwise. Can we be a radiant example of a different knowing, a different way of being?
Father Thomas Keating taught that the spiritual journey is a training in consent to God’s presence and to all of reality. He identified four consents:
First consent: Our basic goodness
Second consent: Participation
Third consent: Diminishment
Fourth consent: Transformation in Christ
These will be the focus of our Advent e-course led by Contemplative Outreach. It includes scripture and specially recorded teachings by Thomas Keating. Other mystical writers will also be quoted as meditations to inform and enrich the contemplative life.
The course consists of:
- Nine emails sent on Monday and Thursday each week, beginning on Thursday, November 24.
- Monday emails will link to the audio recording by Thomas Keating and include transcripts for your convenience.
- Access to an online Practice Circle to share your responses to the teachings with others from around the world.
- Two live, one-hour prayer groups each week on Monday and Thursday which will include 25 minutes of silent prayer, a time of Lectio Divina and a time of sacred sharing and holy listening. These will also be recorded.
For dates and times and to register for this Advent program, click here.
The Christmas Stories
Celebrating, Questioning, & Explaining the Biblical Narratives with John Dominic Crossan
Over the four weeks of Advent, each week the class will have a visual lecture from John Crossan guiding us through the Biblical Christmas stories.
As this is an on-line course you can follow it in your own time.
The topics are:
Week 1: Parabolic Overtures: the Challenge of Different Infancy Narratives
Week 2: Matthew 1-2 as Parabolic Overture to Matthew: Continuity from Moses to Jesus
Week 3: Luke 1-2 as Parabolic Overture to Luke: Discontinuity from John to Jesus
Week 4: Parabolic Overtures: Virginal Conception & Bethlehem Birth
For more information and to sign up click here.
I would be delighted to hear how you use or what you think of the resources I suggest here. Feel free to comment. I will reply to comments and or questions, as appropriate.