Thank you for visiting Saint Louis University’s 2012 Advent website, hosted by the Division of Mission and Ministry and the Department of Campus Ministry. We hope that this series of daily reflections by students, faculty, and staff from across the SLU community can assist you in deepening your experience of the Advent season – a season of conversion, renewal, and faith.
We are all scrambling to finish papers, meet deadlines, and complete programs as the semester ends, but we are also preparing for something new to begin – not just getting our decorations up and mailing our cards in time to reach loved ones, not just planning for another semester and a new year, but the newness of God breaking into all that is stale and tired and death-dealing in our world. Advent reminds us that there is another kind of preparation to be done – opening ourselves to being challenged by the gospel and to hearing the call to renewed fidelity to the will of God for ourselves and for the world.
It is easy to criticize the crass commercialism of secular preparations for Christmas, but we do well to not merely respond with a false dichotomy of “sacred” and “secular,” or worse, “spiritual” and “material.” We do not offer these reflections to lift us out of our daily lives, but to plunge us more deeply into the sacramental imagination – the kairos in every chronos, “finding God in all things.” Advent is certainly a time for reviewing our “spiritual” lives, our interior dispositions, our times in prayer, but also for renewing our participation in the life of God in the world by our public choices with our friends and colleagues, our classmates, the strangers and outsiders whom we exclude or embrace in our regular lives.
This year, the Jesuits of the Missouri Province offer an Advent Examen developed by Fr. Joe Tetlow, S.J., a prominent expert on Ignatian spirituality. We invite you to visit their web page for this resource - http://www.jesuitsmissouri.org/examen/ – and to make use of the daily reflections there and on this page as a tool for recognizing the presence of God in your daily life.
Thank you again for visiting this site. We encourage you to read each day’s reflection and to invite your friends to visit as well. We wish you joy and courage in these next weeks and assure you of our prayers for you and your loved ones.