The Gift of Holiness – Advent Retreat Reflection by Deacon James Keating Ph.D.

This reflection was given during a special Discerning Hearts Advent evening of prayer and meditation service at St. Margaret Mary’s Church, in Omaha, NE

Deacon James Keating, Ph.D., the director of Theological Formation for the Institute for Priestly Formation, located at Creighton University, in Omaha

 

 

 

AR13 – St. Teresa of Avila and Trust – Advent Reflections with Deacon James Keating Ph.D.

St. Teresa of Avila said the following: “Let nothing disturb you. Let nothing frighten you. All things are passing. God only has changed us. Patience gains all things, who as God, wants nothing. God alone suffices.” Here, St. Teresa is telling us, in bold and beautiful language, many of the things we cling to in this time will pass away. We are called to cling to one thing and one thing only: and that is that God alone suffices. God is the source of all that we need. God is the one who never forgets us. God is the one who gives us our deepest heart’s desire: and that is communion with Him. This Advent, let’s trust God. Let’s trust that He’s giving us all that we need, and that if we let Him love us to the depths of our heart, we will want for nothing, and that the result of such reception of love will be peace; a peace that no one can take away; a peace that no time can change. A peace that will never pass.

Deacon James Keating, Ph.D., the director of Theological Formation for the Institute for Priestly Formation, located at Creighton University, in Omaha, is making available to “Discerning Hearts” and all who listen, his series of programs entitled “The Heart of Hope.”

AR12 – St. Therese – Advent Reflections with Deacon James Keating Ph.D.

St. Therese of Liseux said the following: “If I did not simply live from one moment to another, it would be impossible for me to be patient. But I only look at the present. I forget the past, and I take good care not to forestall the future.” In these remarks, St. Therese is trying to point to the truth that is buried deep within the Christian revelation. God only lives in the present moment. He holds all time together in the present. For ourselves, we get lost many times in the past, which could breed nostalgia and grief. Or we anxiously and fearfully try to make the present come quicker. This Advent, ask the Lord for the grace to live in the present, so that our gratitude towards all that He is giving us now will deepen. And in our deepening gratitude, will be born a new fervor for worship. For worship is the fruit of the grateful heart.

Deacon James Keating, Ph.D., the director of Theological Formation for the Institute for Priestly Formation, located at Creighton University, in Omaha, is making available to “Discerning Hearts” and all who listen, his series of programs entitled “The Heart of Hope.”

Deacon James Keating Ph.D. – “The Light Shines in the Darkness” Advent Reflection

Deacon James Keating Ph.D. – “The Light Shines in the Darkness” Advent Reflection from Discerning Hearts on Vimeo.

This reflection was given by Deacon James Keating during the “The Light Shines in the Darkness” Insititute for Priestly Formation 2016 Advent Retreat  at Christ the King Church, in Omaha, NE on December 2016. Deacon Keating was joined by Fr. Mauritius Wilde OSB. This if the first of two talks.

Deacon James Keating, Ph.D., is the director of Theological Formation for the Institute for Priestly Formation, located at Creighton University, in Omaha.

Here is the audio podcast, if you prefer:

For more information on the “Institute for Priestly Formation” and for other material available by Deacon Keating, just click here

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AR#6 – Advent Reflections with Deacon James Keating Ph.D.

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One of our greatest sufferings as Christians is our own impatience with ourselves. We want to be good and holy immediately. St. Francis de Sales said “Have patience with all things. But chiefly, have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage, in considering your own imperfections. But instantly set about to remedy them. Begin every day a task anew.”  During Advent, lets make our new task a deeper prayer life, entrusting all our desires for goodness and holiness, to the Most Holy Trinity, who has infinite patience with us. And as we receive this amazing love from the Trinity, let us ask that our own characters be reformed, so that we might have real patience with one another.

Deacon James Keating, Ph.D., the director of Theological Formation for the Institute for Priestly Formation, located at Creighton University, in Omaha, is making available to “Discerning Hearts” and all who listen, his series of programs entitled “The Heart of Hope.”

 

 

 

AR#5 – Advent Reflections with Deacon James Keating Ph.D.

Keating123As human beings, we tend to sin. We all know this about our characters. And many times, it moves us to despair. God sees our sin, but He never loses his patience with us. And one of the reasons why God never loses His patience with His creation, is, of course, because He loves us. But also because His happiness is already fully possessed by Himself. He’s not like us when we get angry at our children, and try to move time forward; try to make things happen quickly. God is perfectly happy in Himself, and so He does no violence to time, or to people’s development. He waits. He calls. He shares His own happiness with us. And He knows in this patience that He fully possesses, that some day we will be attracted to such a powerful person, to such a peaceful person as he revealed Himself to be in Jesus. This Advent, don’t lose patience with yourself.  Convert all desires to sin into Jesus’ own heart. Give it to him and He will give you a share in His own happiness.

Deacon James Keating, PhD, the director of Theological Formation for the Institute for Priestly Formation, located at Creighton University, in Omaha, is making available to “Discerning Hearts” and all who listen, his series of programs entitled “The Heart of Hope”.

 

 

 

AR#4 – Advent Reflections with Deacon James Keating Ph.D.

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Human beings are called by God, to find their fulfillment patiently, to a life of cultivating virtue. We don’t become saints immediately; we don’t even grow in disdain of our sins immediately. For we are so attached to them, and the immediacy of pleasure that they give us, that it takes time for us to disconnect from that pleasure, and to cultivate a new love, for the only pleasure that lasts, God sharing His own happiness with us. This Advent lets ask the Lord to open our hearts more deeply so that we can receive this happiness from Him. And in so receiving it, be healed of our impatience. For what is being given, and what is coming to us, is more than we could ever imagine.

Deacon James Keating, Ph.D., the director of Theological Formation for the Institute for Priestly Formation, located at Creighton University, in Omaha, is making available to “Discerning Hearts” and all who listen, his series of programs entitled “The Heart of Hope”.

 

 

 

AR#3 – Advent Reflections with Deacon James Keating Ph.D.

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As human beings, we have disordered desires.  One of our greatest disordered desires is to want things now, to be impatient, to want things through our own efforts, without waiting or co-operating with God’s will. To wait and cooperate with God’s will, is to unleash the wonderful character trait of trust. To entrust all of our desires, and all that we wish would be fulfilled into the person of Jesus Christ, whose only desire is our goodness, our happiness, our holiness. This Advent, let’s trust that God is thinking about us all the time and moving creation in such a way that all that is good will be given to us. Let us ask him to heal our desire to want things now. And to renew within us the desire to want only holiness, to want only what God wants for us, for he knows what is best.

Deacon James Keating, Ph.D., the director of Theological Formation for the Institute for Priestly Formation, located at Creighton University, in Omaha, is making available to “Discerning Hearts” and all who listen, his series of programs entitled “The Heart of Hope”.

 

 

 

AR#2 – Advent Reflections with Deacon James Keating Ph.D.

AR#2 – Advent Reflections with Deacon James Keating, Ph.D.Keating-2

We want everything accomplished right away. God only knows that accomplishment follows one thing after another. He knows that it takes time for us to learn what it means to be human, to be those who are loved so deeply by His most Sacred Heart, His mother, and the saints. He knows that it takes time for us to understand that His love, and the reception of His love, is the very origin of our joy. During Advent, we ask even with more fervor, to receive this love. And we ask for the grace to release this joy, especially through the intercession of the saints and the Blessed Mother.

Deacon James Keating, Ph.D., the director of Theological Formation for the Institute for Priestly Formation, located at Creighton University, in Omaha, is making available to “Discerning Hearts” and all who listen, his series of programs entitled “The Heart of Hope”.

 

 

 

AR#1 – Advent Reflections with Deacon James Keating Ph.D. – Discerning Hearts

AR#1 – Advent Reflections with Deacon James Keating, Ph.D.Keating-2

One of God’s attributes is patience. He suffers His own creation, as it comes to fulfillment in His love. The God that we worship is a God who truly loves us. And in this great love, He waits. He waits for us to respond to all that He has given us. And He doesn’t simply wait in a passive way. He keeps loving us, keeps directing His love toward our hearts to awaken them with a response. This is near the very core of what Advent is about. God loving us so deeply, directing His love toward us, and Him sharing His life with us so that we might respond in kind. So that we might wait and receive, and then respond to His great love

Deacon James Keating, Ph.D., the director of Theological Formation for the Institute for Priestly Formation, located at Creighton University, in Omaha