A new year of the Church’s life begins. Advent —we wait in hope as God’s promise of salvation unfolds. We honor Mary as the bearer of Christ our hope, and prepare to receive the gift of the Word made flesh at Christmas.

From centuries ago, the words of our founders still resound, full of wisdom and insight for today. Saints Elizabeth Ann Seton, Vincent de Paul, and Louise de Marillac are our Advent companions. They show us how to live in peace and hope, watching for God’s surprises and gifts each day.


Oh if indeed you could pass this Advent with us— …do try much to take all its grace—it is so sweet a season for comforting the poor and in every one our coming Lord.

This watchfulness to obey, please, and love him is the continual prayer of which the Gospel speaks, for we cannot be always thinking of God, and saying prayers incessantly, yet we can always have the heart turned towards him, desiring to do his will, to please him, and love him through every moment of life … this is a true prayer, but can only be supported by a continual watchfulness, and frequent look at God in our heart.

[Jesus says] Surely I come quickly — and let our hearts answer “All here” in full choir of love.


[addressing Mary, the Mother of God] It’s because of your humility that God has done great things in you.

How beautiful it is to see poor people if we consider them in God and with the esteem in which Jesus Christ held them.


The love of God for [hu]mankind willed that the Son should take human flesh because His delight is to be among His creatures. By becoming like them, He could bear witness to the fact that God has loved them from all eternity. This He did throughout His human life upon earth.

Therefore, let us love this love and we will thereby grasp its endlessness since it depends in no way on us.

I gaze upon you today, most pure Virgin Mother of Grace, since it was you who not only provided the matter for the formation of the sacred body of your son, at a time when you were not as yet actually a mother, but by bringing him into the world you became both Mother of God and Mother of the Man who at His birth brought a new law to the world, the law which alone leads to eternal life. You are the Mother of the Law of Grace because you are the Mother of Grace incarnate.


A constant flood of new consumer goods can baffle the heart and prevent us from cherishing each thing and each moment. To be se­renely present to each reality, however small it may be,opens us to much greater horizons of under­standing and personal fulfillment. Christian spirit­uality proposes a growth marked by moderation and the capacity to be happy with little. It is a re­turn to that simplicity which allows us to stop and appreciate the small things, to be grateful for the opportunities which life affords us, to be spirit­ually detached from what we possess, and not to succumb to sadness for what we lack. (Pope Francis, Laudato Sí, 222)

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Come, Lord! Come to your world, in the way that you know. Come where there is injustice and violence. Come to the refugee camps…in so many places in the world. Come where drugs dominate. Come, too, among those rich people who have forgotten you and who live only for themselves. Come where you are not known. Come to your world and renew the world of today. Come also to our hearts. Come and renew our lives. Come to our hearts so that we ourselves can be the light of God, your presence. (Pope Benedict XVI)

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It is no use saying that we are born 2,000 years too late to give room to Christ. Nor will those who live at the end of the world have been born too late. Christ is always with us, always asking for room in our hearts. (Servant of God Dorothy Day)