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

St. Therese of Lisieux 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., is a professor of Spiritual Theology and serves as a spiritual director at Kenrick Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, MO. 

AR#10 – Advent Reflections with Deacon James Keating Ph.D.


In the area of the new evangelization, we need to receive more in prayer. Even more than give witness to an action or word. The deeper we receive his love in prayer, the fewer our words will have to be to have great effect. God’s harvest awaits those who have received His love deeply. And for those who have received his love deeply, they bring forth great fruit. This Advent, let us overcome our impatience to want to spread the Gospel in haste. Let us first spend time deeply receiving the Gospel ourselves, so that the living word of God will transform our hearts, and we may become not simply people who carry words, or actions; witnessing to the love of God. But that we ourselves may become instances of the word of the love our God Himself. We ourselves may become, in our bodies, icons of the love of God. This Advent, let’s deepen our capacity to receive God’s love in prayer and then become this love. The love that the new evangelization is crying out for.

Deacon James Keating, Ph.D., is a professor of Spiritual Theology and serves as a spiritual director at Kenrick Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, MO. 

AR#9 – Advent Reflections with Deacon James Keating Ph.D.


The impatient one, above all, desires to speed up time and to get what he wants, when he wants it. In this way, impatience is related to violence. Whereas patience takes suffering upon the self. The impatient one makes others suffer. The patient one suffers for the sake of others. This Advent, the one who suffered for our sake, will come and take on flesh; be born into our world and teach all of us the true way of love. It is not to be impatient, but to suffer for the sake of others. To suffer for the goodness of others. To suffer for what benefits others. Jesus, who lives within all Christians, moves the heart to this new kind of patience. Let us welcome it, and make choices that further the welfare of others.

Deacon James Keating, Ph.D., is a professor of Spiritual Theology and serves as a spiritual director at Kenrick Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, MO. 

AR#8 – Advent Reflections with Deacon James Keating Ph.D.

The art of waiting is really the cultivation of the virtue of love. I will wait, and wait, and wait with the Lord. I will wait with and in the Lord, rather than violate charity. Wanting to speed up time, and make things happen now is a violation of charity. It does violence to the nature of things. But the patient person keeps a perspective that is beyond expedient. Beyond what is immediate, and sees before him or her, all what serves love. This Advent, let’s ask for the grace to serve only what promotes love.

Deacon James Keating, Ph.D., is a professor of Spiritual Theology and serves as a spiritual director at Kenrick Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, MO. 

AR#7 – Advent Reflections with Deacon James Keating Ph.D. – Discerning Hearts Podcast


AR#7 – Advent Reflections with Deacon James Keating, Ph.D.

Since we are God’s creation, we have come from God and we are returning to God; God has great confidence in His own grace. He has great confidence that his love for us can change us. He knows that we can make progress and be restored to spiritual and moral health. Do you have confidence in God? Do you trust God? Always desiring to restore you, once again, to happiness and interior peace. Advent is a time to be restored. Primarily, the church is asking us to be restored through the sacramental life. Advent is a time to come back to Church; come back to the Mass; come back to the celebration of the sacrament of reconciliation, where God is confidently waiting for you, knowing that you can make progress and be restored to spiritual health. And to taste, once again, His happiness that He shares with you.

Deacon James Keating, Ph.D., is a professor of Spiritual Theology and serves as a spiritual director at Kenrick Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, MO. 

 

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


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

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., is a professor of Spiritual Theology and serves as a spiritual director at Kenrick Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, MO. 

 

 

 

 

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


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

As 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 someday 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, Ph.D., is a professor of Spiritual Theology and serves as a spiritual director at Kenrick Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, MO.

 

 

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


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

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., is a professor of Spiritual Theology and serves as a spiritual director at Kenrick Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, MO.

 

 

 

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


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

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., is a professor of Spiritual Theology and serves as a spiritual director at Kenrick Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, MO. 

 

 

 

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


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

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., is a professor of Spiritual Theology and serves as a spiritual director at Kenrick Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, MO.