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Make Advent about healing this year: Try ‘Behold’

Behold, Ave Maria Press

Ave Maria Press - published on 11/08/22

Join the Holy Family in this season to be healed from the wounds we’ve experienced within the brokenness of our families.

What if we change our focus this Advent as we prepare for Christ’s birth? What if we allow ourselves to be healed from the wounds we’ve experienced within the brokenness of our families?

In Behold: A Guided Advent Journal for Prayer and Meditation and its free companion videos, popular speaker Sr. Miriam James Heidland, SOLT, invites us on a healing journey with Mary, Joseph, and the child Jesus.

During the four weeks of Advent, the Holy Family welcomes us to receive their healing love, to practice forgiveness and acceptance of our earthly families, and to meet Jesus in the sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist.

Sr. Miriam suggests that we should be honest with the Lord about the places within ourselves that need his healing—the spaces where we carry the hurt and disappointment created by our imperfect earthly mothers and fathers. Then we must ask God to give us the grace and courage to take the first step onto the path that will lead to our transformation.

As we think about family and relationships, we might experience anxiety or fear. We may even unconsciously activate our defense mechanisms. That’s OK: We can welcome uncomfortable places as much as we welcome the beautiful ones. Sr. Miriam says our hearts are trying to tell us that we need something—healing.

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph are willing to help bear any pain we feel in our relationships and to help heal our hearts.

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph are willing to help bear any pain we feel in our relationships and to help heal our hearts. They surround us with their unconditional love. Each member of the Holy Family represents what we need from our own families.

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The Virgin Mary is our mother, and she offers us the love, nurturing, and protection we need. She is attuned to our needs and she sees our deepest wounds. Mary wants to carry us to her Son.

Just as he was for the child Jesus, St. Joseph is a model for a strong, steady, and loving presence—someone who offers safety, allows us to grow in who we are, and gives us an understanding of what it means to be a true father.

As we reach Bethlehem, Jesus is born into the stable of our hearts and into the stable of our families as well. He was born of a woman, just as we were. When he was a child, he needed the same things from Mary and Joseph as we looked for from our own parents—food, sleep, play, safety, love. If we allow Jesus into our stable, he will lead us through the brokenness and into light. Sr. Miriam reminds us that Jesus is the answer to every question we have and every happiness we seek. And he gathers us into his own family.

Advent and Christmas give us a chance to celebrate the birth of our Lord. And this year, if we give everything to Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, we can also rejoice in the grace and truth of our reconciliation with ourselves and our families.

~
You can find FREE weekly Advent video reflections from Sr. Miriam on the Ave Maria Press website. To find out more about this healing Advent journey, check out Behold: A Guided Advent Journal for Prayer and Meditation by Sr. Miriam James Heidland, SOLT, and illustrated by Josiah Henley of Heart of IESVS.

Tags:
AdventFamilyMental HealthSpiritual Life
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