SOLACE: Soul + Grief

Experiencing Loss and Joy in the Advent Season

December 22, 2023 Candee Lucas Season 2 Episode 53
SOLACE: Soul + Grief
Experiencing Loss and Joy in the Advent Season
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In today's episode we finish our exploration this year of what it means to experience grief in a time of anticipation of joy.  With thanks to the writers who gave us the Psalms and the letters of St. Paul.   As the holiday season unfolds, do you find your heart torn between joy and grief?  Drawing from the poignant tale of Mary's joy and loss of Jesus, we're reminded of the promise of his reawakening during this holy season. Together, we shed light on the profound symbolism of the advent wreath, a stark representation of love intertwined with grief.

Be sure to subscribe to this podcast on Google Podcasts, Apple, Amazon Music, Spotify, or follow us on the Facebook pages of Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Los Altos, California, or Calvary Cemetery in San Jose, California.

SPIRITUAL DIRECTION WHILE GRIEVING IS AVAILABLE FREE OF CHARGE

You can reach us at: ccoutreach@dsj.org
To arrange personal spiritual direction:  408-359-5542


Our theme music is:  Gentle Breeze by Yeti Music from the album "Uppbeat".
Additional Music and sound effects today by:   via Pixabay

Candee:

Welcome to Solace, Soul + Grief. We are brought to you by Catholic Cemeteries in the Diocese of San Jose. My name is Candee Lucas. We know the death of a loved one is a huge life transition and we've learned it creates and affects so many other losses in our lives. We at Catholic Cemeteries wanted to offer you this place to grieve and find where God is moving in your life as you grieve. Each week we take a new scripture or reflection and seek to find a quiet place in our hearts, together to contemplate our losses, honor our loved ones and remember God's place in our hearts. We seek to make a continuing connection with those we've lost. We want to find that space where God is moving with us in our grief, where mourning can be transformed to comfort, where our hearts might be reopened and begin to mend, where tears can flow, for it's when we open our hearts we realize that we've made new space for more love, more compassion and more humanity in our lives, and more space for God as well. This is a space we hope Solace will begin to fill for you. Please join us if you're suffering or just want to spend more time having God move with you in your grief. You are always welcome in our circle of healing, love and support.

Candee:

This is the last week of Advent and, as we look forward to the birth on earth of Jesus, those of us carrying our grief are reminded of the intertwining of both joy and sadness Joy at this celebration of the birth of our Lord, and sadness because of the emptiness in our lives where an important person used to be. So we remember some of the scriptures that help us through this time Isaiah 26.3. You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in you. Philippians 4.7. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Jesus Christ. Psalm 139.16. Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Matthew 10.29-31.

Candee:

We live in a fallen world. There is sickness and suffering because of it. The enemy of our souls torments us when we are weak or tired and sometimes, when we're grieving, we're at our weakest point, feeling alone and missing the person we lost. God sees our pain and I am certain that when we are in pain, our Father, our Heavenly Father, sees our pain and wants to ease it. Imagine how God's heart will be crushed as Jesus will be hung on a cross. We are made in the image of God. He fell in love with each and every one of us when we were born. The love we feel towards those we love is the love God put inside of us. Because we love deeply, we hurt deeply when we lose our loved ones. God understands this completely. Psalm 56.8. You have taken account of my miseries. Put my tears in your bottle, are they not in your book? God cares about our losses and every tear we cry and every break in our heart.

Candee:

Psalm 18.2. The Lord is my rock, my fortress, my deliverer. My God is my rock in whom I take refuge, my shield, in the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. When we feel like we can't hold on any longer, it's comforting to know that Father God is our rock. We can take refuge in Him. He is our stronghold and our succor.

Candee:

Many times we feel that things around us are crumbling relationships, people's health plans. We had, and yet we remember the words of the old song Rock of Ages. Rock of Ages, cleft for me. Let me hide myself in thee. 2 Corinthians 1, verse 3 and 4. He knows how we feel. He's the one who created us with those feelings, and when we hurt we can expect he will comfort us, and by His example, later, when we see others hurt, we can comfort them. God made us channels that lead to others, not reservoirs who keep peace and comfort to ourselves. O Lord, we call upon you in our time of sorrow that you give us strength and will to bear our heavy burdens until we can again feel the warmth and love of your divine compassion. Be mindful of us and have mercy on us while we struggle to comprehend life's hardships. Weave our grief into the wreath of our lives, along with our love, along with the wreath of Advent that entwines darkness and light, hopes and fears, despair and love. We may spend some of this time wondering how it would be if that person were still here, or if those persons were still here, and we may spend some of the time just experiencing their absence.

Candee:

I think again of the advent wreath, the intertwining of grief and joy, the intertwining of dark and light and the idea that one does not exist without the other. For what is the opposite of love? We can only be darkness, and when we think of our loved ones, we don't think of them. In darkness, we most often think of them in love, and so this advent has drawn us forward into the light, into celebration of the light. But you have to think that even as Mary welcomes the infant Jesus into her arms, she knows his story and she knows she will lose him, and she knows that she loves him, and the longer she loves him, the harder it will be to lose him. Death and life intertwined like the advent wreath, and so we think of Mary at this time, sitting in the darkness of a manger but surrounded by the light of God's angels. You want to make certain the world takes note of the moment. It's the point of the star, the point of the star in the darkness that guides the way of the wise men and the shepherds and guides our way as well. So I will now for everything of Advent as that intertwining of darkness and light, of love and loss, hope and despair and a promise of a new realization of Jesus.

Candee:

You can also find us on the Facebook pages of Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Los Altos, california, or Calvary Cemetery in San Jose. I am Candy Lucas, aftercare coordinator for Catholic Cemetery's, chaplain and spiritual director. You can reach us at the email or phone number in the show notes. We welcome suggestions for future episodes or reach out to us for one-on-one spiritual direction, individually or as a family. As you travel through grief, stay safe, be gentle with yourselves and travel with God. Jump back.

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