Praying with Isaiah during Advent
Alexander, Andy, S.J.
Waldron, Maureen McCann
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"Text from the first half of "Praying with Isaiah During Advent"The messages from the book of the prophet Isaiah are our guide for the first part of Advent. This page is meant to be a help for our letting these words console us and offer us hope. Though they were first meant to be God's word to a people who "walked in darkness," they are for us today quite alive with meaning. We can hear them personally. We can hear their prophetic hope in a future redemption that was fulfilled in Jesus. We can let these words challenge us to open our hearts. We can hear them helping us know and trust our God's love for us today. When we let them into our hearts - a phrase at a time - and chew them and let them nourish us, we can let these word feed an Advent hope and longing within us. Read them one at a time, or scan several. It is better to enjoy small bits of this message and to savor it, than to run through it, too quickly. Return to this page regularly during Advent. It is a wonderful practice to ask for a grace before we let these words touch our hearts. For example, we might ask something like this:"Lord, open my heart to hear your word for me today. I ask that you console me, comfort me, strengthen my trust in your faithful love, and that you give me hope in the renewal of your coming in my life this Advent." Or, we might pray: "Lord, show me the desert, the wasteland, within me, and let me trust that you will bring new life and build a path to you, within me."The quotations are taken from the readings of the first part of Advent. The links are to the full reading for that day.The First Week of AdventWhy do you let us wander, O LORD, from your ways, and harden our hearts so that we fear you not? Isaiah 63Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down. Isaiah 63Would that you might meet us doing right, that we were mindful of you in our ways! Isaiah 63"Come, let us climb the LORD's mountain, to the house of the God of Jacob, That he may instruct us in his ways, and we may walk in his paths." Isaiah 2They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Isaiah 2Come, let us walk in the light of the LORD! Isaiah 2On that day, A shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom. The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him. ... Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; The calf and the young lion shall browse together, with a little child to guide them. The cow and the bear shall be neighbors, together their young shall rest; the lion shall eat hay like the ox. The baby shall play by the cobra's den, and the child lay his hand on the adder's lair. There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the LORD, as water covers the sea. Isaiah 11Trust in the LORD forever! For the LORD is an eternal Rock. He humbles those in high places, and the lofty city he brings down; He tumbles it to the ground, levels it with the dust. It is trampled underfoot by the needy, by the footsteps of the poor. Isaiah 26"