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Advent – Friday, First Week

December 6, 2019

Friday, December 6, 2019

Scripture for Today

Another of my favorite maxims is Maxim 84:

Never go ahead of grace by an imprudent overeagerness, but quietly await its movements and when it comes to you, go along with it with great gentleness, humility, fidelity, and courage.

“Imprudent” and “overeagerness” are not words that modern speakers use much. What exactly would “imprudent overeagerness” be? Aren’t we supposed to charge ahead at all times? What’s this thing with waiting around? When would it be a good thing to wait?

I think avoiding imprudent overeagerness is a process of prayer, of taking time to discern and consider before taking action, which is where the gentleness in the second half of Maxim 84 comes in. It’s a practice of paying attention, of noticing without undue attachment, of listening to the movements of grace within us – that’s the fidelity piece. We need to be sure we’re getting our illusions out of the way – that’s humility- so that when we act it is because action is the right thing to do, and not because we’re trying to justify ourselves in some way. And finally courage – that’s what enables not only action, but non-action in the face of pressure from a society that mistakes it for laziness or lack of ambition.

We can’t do everything. It’s illusory and even idolatrous to think we can.

Pray. Wait.

But don’t wait too long. When grace comes to you, then go, and do – without hesitation, without overthinking, without fanfare – when you are called.

Baya Clare

God, in whom we live, and move, and have our being,
come and show us how to love as you love.


Find writers’ bios here.
Photographs by Theresa Ruttger. Graphic design by Baya Clare CSJ. Before copying or using any text or images from this site, please contact bayathread(at)gmail(dot)com for permission.
Some material on this site is adapted from Daily Prayer, Daily Bread, published by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Medaille in 2004, and is used with the permission of the Editor and Project Director, Eleanor Bernstein CSJ.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Mary Beth Stearns permalink
    December 6, 2019 3:21 am

    Thank you for this reminder. Using the message in my prayer today.

  2. Connie permalink
    December 6, 2019 8:53 am

    Thanks, Bay. Another good one!

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