Getting to Know Our Missionaries Better...
The Advent and Christmas seasons are my favorite time of the year, not only because of the joy of spending time with family and friends but also because those seasons remind us that God is ALWAYS faithful to his promises because He is Who He says He is. God promised that He would set His people free and He did so by sending His only Son, Jesus, to break the chains of sin and darkness. Is it any coincidence that Christmas falls around the time of the winter solstice, which is also the darkest time of the year? The hours of daylight increase every day after the solstice which is a perfect reminder that "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it" (Jn 1:5).
Each of us has places of darkness in our own hearts and in our own lives, whether it's a particular sin we struggle with, family difficulties, feelings of depression and loneliness, the death of a loved one, financial difficulties, and any other places we haven't let the light of Jesus shine through. It might seem difficult to bring those places of darkness to the Lord, maybe out of fear of what He'll say about it or because we think we have to present the "perfect" version of ourselves to Him. Fear not, friends, Jesus was born in a manger in a cave amongst animals (definitely not the cleanest and most pristine environment) because He wanted to show us that He's not afraid of our broken and messy hearts. He doesn't approach us as a vengeful and angry king, ready to punish us for every little imperfection. He comes to us as a gentle Baby Who wants to be born into those very places of darkness.
A little while ago, I was inspired to write my own litany which I've called the Litany of Light to ask the Lord to be with me in my own places of darkness. I've borrowed some of the lines/themes from the Litany of Trust (stjosephdg.org/trust) and the Litany of Transfiguration (stfrancischurchguys.wordpress.com/2012/08/06/litany-of-transfiguration/), which are some of my favorite litanies. Feel free to pray with this and to add your own invocations.
The Litany of Light
When I'm tempted to lose my patience Jesus, be my light.
When the actions of others frustrate me Jesus, be my light.
When I'm temped to be unforgiving towards others Jesus, be my light.
When I'm tempted to gossip Jesus, be my light.
When I'm tempted to correct someone without charity Jesus, be my light.
When I'm tempted to ignore the needs of my neighbor Jesus, be my light.
When there's unrest and conflict in my family Jesus, be my light.
When I'm tempted to compare myself to others Jesus, be my light.
When things don't go as planned Jesus, be my light.
When I'm tempted to take my eyes off of You, Jesus Jesus, be my light.
When I've sinned Jesus, be my light.
When I feel overtaken by shame and guilt Jesus, be my light.
When the darkness threatens to overtake me Jesus, be my light.
When I'm tempted to be angry with myself Jesus, be my light.
When I'm tempted to not forgive myself Jesus, be my light.
When I'm tempted to view myself as a failure Jesus, be my light.
When I'm tempted to believe the way God made me isn't enough Jesus, be my light.
When I'm lonely Jesus, be my light.
When I'm tempted to fall into hopelessness Jesus, be my light.
When I'm tempted to worship You out of obligation Jesus, be my light.
When I'm tempted to worship You as a force of habit Jesus, be my light.
When I'm tempted to lose hope in your promises Jesus, be my light.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!! May the joy of the Christmas season bring peace and light into your homes!
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Star of the Sea's Missionary Interns
Young adults from around the country come together to live and serve the Lord at this beautiful Catholic parish in the Pacific Northwest.