It is so easy in this world to have hearts cluttered by superficial and transient things. Human hearts easily become like the ruins of ancient cities, covered over by centuries of debris, only to be discovered after much excavation.  Advent is a time to prepare for the coming of the Lord by clearing the hubris of heart that leads to so much confusion and discontent.  Advent is a time to let in the Light of Christ that the darkness may be scattered.

Today record high temperatures allowed me to wash windows.  That must have been a first in Wyoming, washing windows in the middle of December!  I love looking through a clean window.  No doubt, our Good Lord loves the same purity when gazing into our souls.The glimmering view lifts my spirit, much as a dirty window tends to diminish not only the view, but one’s outlook.

Let us seek the intercession of our Blessed Mother that we may grow in the gifts of the Holy Spirit; those gifts that clear away the inordinate attachments to the things of this passing world.  Let us beg the Holy Spirit to grant us growth in virtue, and thus sweep our hearts clean at the approach of our Lord.

WE pray the Father most kind through You, His only-begotten Son, who for us became Man and were crucified and glorified, that He send us, out of the abundance of His wealth, the Spirit of sevenfold grace that rested upon You in all fullness: the gift of WISDOM, that we may taste in its life-giving flavor the fruit of the Tree of Life which You truly are; the gift of UNDERSTANDING, through which the vision of our mind is clarified; the gift of COUNSEL, that we may follow in Your footsteps and proceed along the paths of righteousness; the gift of FORTITUDE, that we may meet the violence of our enemies’ assaults; the gift of KNOWLEDGE, that we may be filled with the light of Your sacred teaching to distinguish good from evil; the gift of PIETY, that our hearts may be filled with kindness; the gift of FEAR, that we may draw away from all evil and be kept in peace by the awesome might of Your majesty.

For You have willed that we ask for these things in the holy prayer which You taught us: so now we beg them of You, in the name of Your cross, in praise of Your most holy name.  To You, and to the Father, and to the Holy Spirit, be all glory and honor and thanksgiving, all splendor and power, forever and ever!


(St. Bonaventure, The Tree of Life)