These Advent reflections by the abbess of a Poor Clare monastery, an accomplished spiritual writer, focus our attention on the coming of Jesus into our lives. There is a double movement to this coming; both our active preparation to be ready for him and our patient waiting for the Lord to arrive in his own good time. There is also an art to this simultaneous preparation and waiting, and no one knows better than the beloved Mother Mary Francis how to encourage us in our attempts to master this art.
Meditating on passages from Scripture about the coming of the Messiah into the world and our hearts, Mother challenges us to persevere in overcoming our faults and keeping our eyes on the Lord who has called us to himself-for it is he, through the gifts of his grace, who will complete in us the work of sanctification which he has begun.
Though written for Advent, the wisdom of Mother Mary Francis collected by her sisters is profitable at any time because a Christian life is one of constant growth into the very likeness of God.
"But it is a wonderful thing that we are not happy with ourselves, because the most terrible thing would be that we are at peace with our faults, absorbed in ourselves, blaming our faults on other people...the tenderness, the sweetness of Advent is wedded to that great mystery which begins with the call: Now is the time. Now is the hour. Wake up and be made perfect in holiness."
- Mother Mary Francis, P.C.C.
"In these meditations, Mother Mary Francis teaches us that the liturgy keeps offering us precious insights that most of us do not perceive as precious jewels, for we have not learned the art of listening to the Divine voice speaking to us through the liturgy. All this is sketched with the powerful hand of someone who has lived it."
- Alice von Hildebrand
"The Poor Clare Abbess opens her precious sanctuary, the inner life of her vocation, disclosing the simplicity of the Franciscan gifts for a life of prayer by artfully sharing meditations on the weeks of Advent preparing for Christmas. With wit and sometimes deft humor, she redefines perennial values through contemporary analogies. Anyone needing to be re-established in the essential goodness of our Catholic traditions will find these meditations healing and consoling. You will certainly have found a new friend in the Franciscan cloth-as a Benedictine nun, I did!"
- Mother Dolores Hart, O.S.B. Prioress, Abbey of Regina Laudis
Mother Mary Francis, P.C.C., (1921-2006) was for more than forty years the abbess of the Poor Clare Monastery of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Roswell, New Mexico. She became recognized as an authoritative voice for the renewal of religious life through her many books, including A Right to Be Merry, But I Have Called You Friends, and Anima Christi.