Last Sunday inaugurated Advent with Jesus urging "vigilance," "watchfulness," "and "attentiveness." Why? To allow His presence to more fully embrace us, become part of us. Other synonymous words come to mind that help me take these 24 days seriously, such as "sober," "steady," and "calm." In other words, we are asked by the Church to take more time than usual to live more intensely in God’s presence. A modest suggestion, take a "disciplined" minute each day to be in the presence of God. Not to worry about what happens during that minute except that I do not use words. A selection from scripture may help, but trust God "beyond the human" to know what to "say" to us. We are actually training ourselves to look ever more keenly and continuously toward Jesus. Is it no wonder that Jesus’ compassion for the crowd was preceded by time spent away in prayer? Mountains, in the Scripture, are the places where God dwells. That is where Jesus found nourishment and strength. Consider just that minute each day during Advent, "on the mountain" with God.
Fr. Alex Steinmiller, C.P. is president of Holy Family Cristo Rey High School, Birmingham, Alabama.