One Minute Reflection – 2 January – Christmas Weekday and The Memorial of St Basil the Great (329-379) and St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390), Readings: 1 John 2:22-28, Psalm 98:1-4, John 1:19-28
He said, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.” … 1 John 2:23
REFLECTION – “Prepare a way for the Lord.” Brethren, however far you journey along it… from the very nature of goodness, there is no limit to the way along which you travel. And so… the wise and indefatigable traveller… can say to himself each day: “Now I begin”… And how many “go astray in the wilderness”… None of them can yet say: “Now I begin.”
For “the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord.” If the beginning of wisdom, then surely it is also the beginning of the way of goodness… It is this that encourages praise…; it also moves the proud to penance, so that they hear the voice of him crying in the wilderness,ordering the preparation of the way and thus showing how to begin it: “Do penance for the kingdom of heaven is close at hand”…
If you are on the way then fear only one thing, lest you leave it, lest you offend the Lord who leads you along it so that He would abandon you to “wander in the way of your own heart”… If you feel that the way is too narrow look forward to the end to which it leads you. If you were to see how everything is to be attained, then you would say without hesitation: “Broad indeed is your command!” If you cannot see so far, believe Isaiah who could… “Behold,” he says, “the redeemed shall walk by this way and the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Sion with singing, everlasting joy shall be upon their heads . They shall obtain also joy and gladness and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” Those who dwell sufficiently on this end I think will not only make the way easier for himself but also grow wings, so that he no longer walks but flies… May He, who is the track of the runners and the reward of the winners, lead and guide you along it – He, Christ Jesus.” … Blessed Guerric of Igny (c 1080-1157) Cistercian Abbot – 5th sermon of Advent, SC 166
PRAYER – Look with favour on our morning prayer, Lord and in Your saving love, let Your light penetrate the wilderness in our hearts. May no sordid desires darken our minds, renewed and enlightened as we are, by Your heavenly grace. God our Father, You enriched Your Church and gave examples for us to follow in the life and teachings of Sts Basil and Gregory. Grant that, learning Your truth with humility, we may practise it in faith and love. Sts Basil and Gregory, pray for our beloved Church, pray for all Catholic Christians, through Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.