Advent Daily Devotional by Virginia Farrell '20

Advent Daily Devotional reflection and prayer by Virginia Farrell '20
Advent Daily Devotional by Virginia Farrell '20
When we do pay attention, we will surely see incredible things.- Virginia Farrell '20

monday, DEC. 11 reflection

“We have seen incredible things today.” This line ends today’s Gospel and it is an appropriate way to begin our reflection. Now that the semester has come to a close and we await the fresh start of the new year, whether you’re already home or you’re still in your office, let us take the time to reflect about the incredible things we have seen today. This does not have to be grandiose thoughts. As the poet Mary Oliver tells us, “It doesn’t have to be the blue iris. It could be weeds in a vacant lot.”

Today’s readings are meant to catch our attention like the blue iris of Oliver’s poem. Streams flowing in deserts. Parched land blooming with flowers. A man who was crippled walking off his stretcher and returning home healed. Or bigger still, sins being forgiven. These tell us that nothing is impossible with God. But I don’t want us to focus there. That’s the blue iris. I want us to focus on the weeds in a vacant lot. There are many incredible things we will see today and we should take the time to stop and recognize them. St. Ignatius tells us in the daily Examen to recognize these incredible things, big or small, iris or weeds. I truly believe that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.

We have the ability to mold our day and influence the way we look at things. When doing the daily Examen, notice the little things we take for granted. Appreciate the clean abundant water we drink, the infrastructure of roads and safety, the grocery stores filled with food, the meals we eat, the bed we sleep in and the caring people we are surrounded by at this university. If we can appreciate these small things, if we can be reflective on the abundance of our gifts, then we may turn our lives upside down. We will see water flow forth from the desert, or flowers blooming on parched land. We will heal the things which cripple us. Who knows, our sins may be forgiven too. Mary Oliver, in the above-mentioned poem, tells us to “pay attention.” That’s what our readings today call us to do, and in particular in this advent season. When we do pay attention, we will surely see incredible things.

-Virginia Farrell '20
Art History Major


Like Isaiah of old or our very own Mary Oliver, help us to pay attention to the abundant life that continues to spring up around us. May flowers bloom in our parched hearts and flowing waters cleanse us from our sins.

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