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In Advent we can let our prayer illuminate the UAPs, asking that we may be open to whatever graces of renewal, insight and understanding God wishes to offer us.
Advent and the Universal Apostolic Preferences

December 1, 2019 –  In Advent, we can let our prayer illuminate the Universal Apostolic Preferences (UAPs), asking that we may be open to whatever graces of renewal, insight and understanding God wishes to offer us.

The UAPs give us ways into contemplating the mystery which Advent itself unfolds for us. They invite us to a ‘contemplative listening’. In each we are directed to hear and follow the Spirit who is calling to us. Often, too, we will come to recognize those who are already on the way before us; those who can lead us and teach us.

Below you will find excerpts from the "Universal Apostolic Preferences & Advent Prayer," created by the Jesuit Curia in Rome. What follows is meant to accompany and guide you in your Advent prayer.

Click here to download "Universal Apostolic Preferences (UAPs) & Advent Prayer" as a PDF.


(Click here to download the "Universal Apostolic Preferences (UAPs) & Advent Prayer.)

SCRIPTURE

Is.2:1-5; Ps.121; Rom.113:11-14; Matt.24:37-44.

COMPOSITION OF PLACE

I see myself standing humbly before the Lord who loves me.

GRACE I/WE SEEK

I ask for the Grace to experience myself as a pilgrim.

SUGGESTION: UAP 3

To accompany young people in the creation of a hope-filled future.


In Advent God gives us time to renew body and soul; to recover perspectives and to establish once again the true and lasting values that shape and govern our lives. (Matt.24:37-44; Closing prayer of the Mass for this Sunday; UAP 1).

There is a sense renewal and fulfilment in the readings, especially the psalm. Although the prayer is for Israel it could also be for the Church, ‘for the sake of the house of the Lord our God….’

The offer is one of peace: to have the grace of peace, the ‘shalom’ of the Lord, coming to rest within us, to be ministers of that peace to others. Ps.121

REFLECTION

What does the Lord ask me to see? What is the knowledge and the desire he wishes to place in my heart?

COLLOQUY

I speak to the Lord about my fears and doubts; also, about my desires and longing as we pray in this first week of Advent.


Click here to download the "Universal Apostolic Preferences (UAPs) & Advent Prayer.)

SCRIPTURE

Is.11:1-10; Ps.71; Rom.15:4-9; Matt.3:1-12.

COMPOSITION OF PLACE

I see myself standing humbly before the Lord who loves me.

GRACE I/WE SEEK

I ask for the Grace of a more open heart to the world around me and especially to those who are suffering and in need.

SUGGESTION: UAP 2

To walk with the poor, the outcasts of the world, those whose dignity has been violated, in a mission of reconciliation and justice.


With John, with all who come to announce the kairos of the Lord, it is always a moment of decision and judgement. We cannot be neutral in the presence of Christ. He asks us to choose, and so we need the grace, ‘to judge wisely the things of earth and hold firm to things of heaven’.

Advent invites us to choose and to set out upon a new way, the way of the Lord, the way into the world that waits and longs for him even when it does not yet know him.

REFLECTION

How can I show in my life and in my relationships this new life of the Spirit? Or, Have I found the grace I sought? How can I respond?

COLLOQUY

That I may become more a ‘portrait’ in the image of Christ, in my thoughts, loves, words, and deeds.


(Click here to download the "Universal Apostolic Preferences (UAPs) & Advent Prayer.)

SCRIPTURE

Is.35:1-6,10; Ps.145; James 5:7-10; Matt.11:2-11.

COMPOSITION OF PLACE

I see myself standing humbly before the Lord who loves me.

GRACE I/WE SEEK

I ask for the Grace of appreciation of the beauty …and the fragility …of our common home.

SUGGESTION: UAP 4

To collaborate in the care of our Common Home.

REFLECTION

To stay with one or two of the above points and open my mind and heart to where the Spirit wishes to take me. Or, Have I found the grace I sought? How can I respond?

COLLOQUY

The grace to be a bearer of truth and of hope in the name of Christ.

SUPPLEMENTARY REFLECTION

Patience is the way we live in time and give time to let things disclose themselves. Patience is the gift of time for things to happen and for things to change. Often, we think of patience as an acquired wisdom or a way of inaction. It is really the reverse: patience is receptive attention, an openness which comes from really caring and believing; patience is our way of showing a real trust in God. It is more about knowing when and how to act than not acting at all. Patience is discerning time; it is the gift of caring – giving time to know how and when to care. We cannot be patient if we do not trust God or trust the good that is growing or has the potential to grow in another. (Jm.5:7-10). Patience is ‘waiting on God.’


Click here to download the "Universal Apostolic Preferences (UAPs) & Advent Prayer.)

SCRIPTURE

Is.7:10-14; Ps.23; Rom.1:1-7; Matt.1:18-24.

COMPOSITION OF PLACE

I see myself standing humbly before the Lord who loves me.

GRACE I/WE SEEK

I ask for the Grace of feeling close to Jesus in His journey and His ministry.

SUGGESTION: UAP 4

To show the way to God through the Spiritual Exercises and discernment.

REFLECTION

To see my life, my place of work and ministry, my country etc. as the places of Christ’s action. How would they change or be transformed if they could see, know and love him? If they could say ‘God is with us’? Or, Have I found the grace I sought? How can I respond?

COLLOQUY

To ask for the graces that I need to bring Him to others.





Recent News

December 8, 2019 – In the Gospel for the Second Sunday of Advent, we notice three concrete invitations for the way we live: to preach, to repent, and to announce the good news.

December 1, 2019 – Advent is a liturgical season of great significance to Christians. We have the opportunity to reflect on, and prepare for, Jesus entering the world as a child in need of love and care. As we contemplate Jesus as a child, vulnerable and fragile, we are able to see his greatness.

December 1, 2019 – This Advent, the Jesuit network will be inviting you to engage more deeply with God through Ignatian spirituality, a spirituality that challenges us to be both contemplative and active. Through your Advent prayer, ask: Do I hear the cries of the earth and the poor? How do I respond? Does my response point to a hope-filled future?

November 8, 2019 – Our Fall 2019 workshop, "Spiritual Direction for Young Adults" was held on Saturday, November 2, 2019, at Ignatius House in Atlanta, Georgia. The workshop was recorded, and the video is now available on our website. Thank you to all who participated!

November 6, 2019 – Sr. Sheila Smith is a Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. She is presently serving as the Representative for her congregation at the United Nations in New York. Sheila completed her doctorate in theology at Saint Paul University in Ottawa, Canada, where she also helped found PACT-Ottawa (Persons Against the Crime of Trafficking in Humans). We spoke with Sr. Sheila about her work to prevent human trafficking on October 25, 2019, as part of our “Works of Love” campaign.

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