Friday, December 14, 2012

Good and Bad; Happy and Sad

A famous Advent scripture passage is Isaiah 40: 3-5:

"A voice proclaims: In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD!
Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God!
Every valley shall be lifted up, every mountain and hill made low;
The rugged land shall be a plain,the rough country, a broad valley.
Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken."

This famous passage is quoted in the New Testament as referring to Saint John the Baptist.

I am fascinated by the idea of filling up the valleys and pulling down the mountains in order to make a straight road for the Lord - they still do that when they are making highways. Here is a spiritual interpretation of the image:

In this life we all have good days and bad days; days that make us happy and days that make us sad. If we have the faith to see, God is at work in both. Some days bring consolations and joys. These days can be seen as "filling up the valleys" as they lift us up. Some days bring trials and sorrow. These days can be seen as "bringing down the mountains" of our pride and self-centeredness.

Another image is two rosaries - one for joys and one for sorrows. Imagine that we are holding one in each hand. As we go through life and experience various joys and sorrows a bead is added. On second thought, it is only one rosary that we are holding. The joyful and sorrowful mysteries are prayed on the same rosary.

May Our Lady prepare the manger of our heart to receive her Son!

Fr. Luke Mary Fletcher, CFR
St. Joseph Friary
Harlem, NY

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