Coffee with a Friend, Saint Teresa of Calcutta
Have you ever wanted to invite your favorite saint over and have a conversation over a nice cup of coffee (or tea, if you prefer)? Or how about time to reflect on what the true meaning of Advent is? Or how we too can prepare for the coming of Jesus? Let’s sit down and have a nice talk with our newest saint welcomed into heaven by reading the daily reflections from, “Advent with Saint Teresa of Calcutta” by Heidi Hess Saxton.
Saxton wrote a daily Advent reflection that can be used this year and many years to come (she outlines the readings for all three scripture cycles). Each daily reflection includes the readings for that day, a short reflection in the way that St. Teresa’s worldly view, a Moment to Reflect and a Moment to Pray, each giving the reader something to ponder and pray about that specific reflection. We can read the words of St. Teresa in her many books written by her or about her, but this book is different in that it brings to light how during Advent we need to be more open and loving. We need to prepare our own hearts for the coming of Jesus.
The Reason for the Season
Find a way to reconnect with the simple joy of living as we recall the gentle words of St. Teresa, who urges us to experience the unadorned presence of the living God.
~Third Sunday of Advent
Advent and Christmas time can be such a difficult time of “busy.” We are busy buying gifts, preparing, cleaning, decorating, entertaining, never-ending. When we look at Advent through the eyes of St. Teresa, we can see the simplicity of giving, caring, joy and God made flesh. This is what the season is really about. Taking this time, even if it is 5 to 10 minutes each day, to just reflect on the true meaning of this time of preparation, will help us to really prepare our hearts and minds for what is the real “Reason for the Season.”
Family Reflection and Prayer
This book would also be great for families to be able to stop and reflect on what is really important in our family lives. Younger children may not be able to understand the reflections, but older children would come to appreciate the simple life and humility of St. Teresa. She lived a simple life that children don’t understand today. We must show them we are called to not just think of ourselves and “things” but others basic needs.
This book would also be a wonderful way to integrate journal writing into our prayer life. Pondering the scripture readings along with the reflections would be a great way to use the “A Moment to Reflect” questions to write in a journal how the reflections apply to our lives. The reflection questions for the third Sunday of Advent are:
-What caused your heart to experience joy this week?
-Rose Sunday is called Gaudete (Rejoice) Sunday. Have you praised God and rejoiced over his many blessings?
As we read the words of St. Teresa above and journal on praising God for his many blessings, we can remove the “things” and decorations of Christmas. We can work to refocus and ponder the Holy Baby in the manger and how he came into this world so simply without anything. How wonderful it would be to clean out our hearts and minds of all this clutter!
New World View
Saxton writes clear and simple messages of peace, joy and love based on St. Teresa’s simple life and words. Her reflections help us to clean out the busyness of Christmas preparation. This brings us closer to the Lord by removing the overload of holiday music and noise. With each closing prayer, we can move closer to our Lord and further from the materialism of the world. We are called to live in this world, not of the world. This is the living example that Jesus gave us and what we witness in the life of a simple, small but mighty woman who went by the name of Mother Teresa of Calcutta. We can learn so much from her life in the 4 weeks that make up Advent.
Pick up a copy of “Advent with Saint Teresa of Calcutta” by Heidi Hess Saxton (Amazon) and change your life to reflect a simple and humble life dedicated to our Lord, Jesus Christ.