Advent with Blessed Solanus

Star studded extravaganzas draw people from all over.  Undoubtedly people look to position themselves in order to get the best possible view and get the most from the event.  Many look to experts to learn the best ways to maximize the experience.  Blessed Solanus is an expert in finding God’s presence.  Accompanying Blessed Solanus through Advent lays out an ideal way to position oneself to encounter Christmas in a most rich way.  The events and inspirational thoughts of Blessed Solanus provide the stepping stones for this unique Advent journey.

The first stepping stone is prayer.  In all things Fr. Solanus turned to prayer.  On November 30, 1896 Fr. Solanus began a most fervent novena to the Blessed Mother to be given direction for his life.  His life was going nowhere.  He had been rejected from the diocesan seminary and at the age of 26 was back at his childhood home.  He offered up his hopes and fears in prayer.  In his novena he stormed heaven.  On December 8th, he received the answer to his prayer.  He believed that the Blessed Mother spoke to him and told him to “Go to Detroit.”  In Detroit was the headquarters of the Midwest Capuchin order.  He would seek to join this Capuchin community.  Prayer served as the compass for his life.  He models for us this fundamental aspect of positioning ourselves for the celebration of Christmas; PRAYER with CONFIDENCE.

The second stepping stone is openness to God.  As Fr. Solanus began to carry out the directions of the Blessed Mother to go to Detroit, he had a sense of dread.  Earlier in the year, Solanus had visited a community of Capuchins in Wisconsin and was turned off by their seemingly cold and ultra serious attitude.  With the answer to his prayer being to go to Detroit and join the Capuchin, Fr. Solanus had a heavy heart.  Despite his reservations, he said goodbye to his family in Wisconsin and boarded a train which deposited him in Detroit on Christmas Eve.  As he knocked on the door to the monastery and was led to a small room to rest from his travels, Solanus felt as if it was a mistake.  He questioned why he was actually there and only found solace in his trust for God.  Solanus opened himself to God and what God wanted.  God did not take long to fill his emptiness and sooth his doubts.  At midnight on Christmas Eve, and only on that night every year, the brothers would joyfully go through the hallways and sing songs and ring bells.  This is what Solanus awoke to.  As he heard the joy and the frolicking of the friars,  Solanus had a deep sense of peace and certitude in the depths of his soul.  He was truly in the right place.  Opening himself to God allowed God to fill the deepest parts of his life.  God showed him exactly what he needed, exactly when he needed it.  He models for us this Advent the need to position ourselves with openness to God and God’s workings in our life.

The third stepping stone is going out of oneself.  Fr. Solanus was remembered for playing the violin.  Probably it was more for screeching the violin than playing it.  Father Solanus often offered his music to the friars, but it was rejected.  Father Solanus still wanted to give a gift from his heart.  He wanted to play songs of Christmas joy.  As he found himself turned away from his brother friars, he found himself before the tabernacle.  It was here that Fr. Solanus would play his violin for baby Jesus in the Eucharist.  Fr. Dan Crosby, a young Capuchin brother stationed at St. Bonaventure during the last year of Fr. Solanus’ life,  recalls the Christmas Eve  he stopped to pray in the friars’ chapel.  As he knelt in prayer,  he heard a screechy sound coming from the larger church.  Fr. Dan opened the chapel door and up in the choir loft was Fr. Solanus caught up in the moment of playing his violin as a gift from himself.  Part of the Advent journey Fr. Solanus shows us is turning out of ourselves and offering a gift of ourselves generously to others.

The fourth stepping stone is uniting oneself to the Divine.  Fr. Solanus offered many sayings and insights throughout the years.  One saying about Christmas was especially rich.  “Always Christmas Eve – Holy Communion Daily.”  This captured two dimensions of positioning oneself in Advent for Christmas; anticipation and Divine Union.  The approach to Christmas is full of anticipation for something good and wonderful.  There is a waiting, but it is a hopeful waiting that grows as the time nears.  Little children capture this so well as Christmas nears and their anticipation mounts.  In deed the greater gift is Divine Union.  Christmas is the arrival of the Divine into the physical world.  The Love of God bursts forth onto the human plane, in flesh and blood.  Every time we receive Holy Communion, we receive the Divine in flesh and blood.  The Love of God bursts into our souls.  We are present to the indwelling of the God.  We are united to the Divine.  Every time we receive Holy Communion, it is Christmas Eve…it is Jesus’ birth in our souls.  As we position ourselves to celebrate Christmas we become mindful of the great gift we have of God offering us true union with this Presence of Eternal Love.

Advent with Blessed Solanus takes us along a path in which we can position ourselves to have the fullness of the Christmas celebration.   Blessed Solanus calls us to root ourselves in prayerful confidence, to open ourselves to workings of God, to move out from ourselves with a focus on others, and to anticipate the Divine Union which is the essence of Christmas.  As we position ourselves this Advent may we be fully present to the joy and goodness of God in our midst and working for good in our lives.

 Star studded extravaganzas draw people from all over.  Undoubtedly people look to position themselves in order to get the best possible view and get the most from the event.  Many look to experts to learn the best ways to maximize the experience.  Blessed Solanus is an expert in finding God’s presence.  Accompanying Blessed Solanus through Advent lays out an ideal way to position oneself to encounter Christmas in a most rich way.  The events and inspirational thoughts of Blessed Solanus provide the stepping stones for this unique Advent journey.

The first stepping stone is prayer.  In all things Fr. Solanus turned to prayer.  On November 30, 1896 Fr. Solanus began a most fervent novena to the Blessed Mother to be given direction for his life.  His life was going nowhere.  He had been rejected from the diocesan seminary and at the age of 26 was back at his childhood home.  He offered up his hopes and fears in prayer.  In his novena he stormed heaven.  On December 8th, he received the answer to his prayer.  He believed that the Blessed Mother spoke to him and told him to “Go to Detroit.”  In Detroit was the headquarters of the Midwest Capuchin order.  He would seek to join this Capuchin community.  Prayer served as the compass for his life.  He models for us this fundamental aspect of positioning ourselves for the celebration of Christmas; PRAYER with CONFIDENCE.

The second stepping stone is openness to God.  As Fr. Solanus began to carry out the directions of the Blessed Mother to go to Detroit, he had a sense of dread.  Earlier in the year, Solanus had visited a community of Capuchins in Wisconsin and was turned off by their seemingly cold and ultra serious attitude.  With the answer to his prayer being to go to Detroit and join the Capuchin, Fr. Solanus had a heavy heart.  Despite his reservations, he said goodbye to his family in Wisconsin and boarded a train which deposited him in Detroit on Christmas Eve.  As he knocked on the door to the monastery and was led to a small room to rest from his travels, Solanus felt as if it was a mistake.  He questioned why he was actually there and only found solace in his trust for God.  Solanus opened himself to God and what God wanted.  God did not take long to fill his emptiness and sooth his doubts.  At midnight on Christmas Eve, and only on that night every year, the brothers would joyfully go through the hallways and sing songs and ring bells.  This is what Solanus awoke to.  As he heard the joy and the frolicking of the friars,  Solanus had a deep sense of peace and certitude in the depths of his soul.  He was truly in the right place.  Opening himself to God allowed God to fill the deepest parts of his life.  God showed him exactly what he needed, exactly when he needed it.  He models for us this Advent the need to position ourselves with openness to God and God’s workings in our life.

The third stepping stone is going out of oneself.  Fr. Solanus was remembered for playing the violin.  Probably it was more for screeching the violin than playing it.  Father Solanus often offered his music to the friars, but it was rejected.  Father Solanus still wanted to give a gift from his heart.  He wanted to play songs of Christmas joy.  As he found himself turned away from his brother friars, he found himself before the tabernacle.  It was here that Fr. Solanus would play his violin for baby Jesus in the Eucharist.  Fr. Dan Crosby, a young Capuchin brother stationed at St. Bonaventure during the last year of Fr. Solanus’ life,  recalls the Christmas Eve  he stopped to pray in the friars’ chapel.  As he knelt in prayer,  he heard a screechy sound coming from the larger church.  Fr. Dan opened the chapel door and up in the choir loft was Fr. Solanus caught up in the moment of playing his violin as a gift from himself.  Part of the Advent journey Fr. Solanus shows us is turning out of ourselves and offering a gift of ourselves generously to others.

The fourth stepping stone is uniting oneself to the Divine.  Fr. Solanus offered many sayings and insights throughout the years.  One saying about Christmas was especially rich.  “Always Christmas Eve – Holy Communion Daily.”  This captured two dimensions of positioning oneself in Advent for Christmas; anticipation and Divine Union.  The approach to Christmas is full of anticipation for something good and wonderful.  There is a waiting, but it is a hopeful waiting that grows as the time nears.  Little children capture this so well as Christmas nears and their anticipation mounts.  In deed the greater gift is Divine Union.  Christmas is the arrival of the Divine into the physical world.  The Love of God bursts forth onto the human plane, in flesh and blood.  Every time we receive Holy Communion, we receive the Divine in flesh and blood.  The Love of God bursts into our souls.  We are present to the indwelling of the God.  We are united to the Divine.  Every time we receive Holy Communion, it is Christmas Eve…it is Jesus’ birth in our souls.  As we position ourselves to celebrate Christmas we become mindful of the great gift we have of God offering us true union with this Presence of Eternal Love.

Advent with Blessed Solanus takes us along a path in which we can position ourselves to have the fullness of the Christmas celebration.   Blessed Solanus calls us to root ourselves in prayerful confidence, to open ourselves to workings of God, to move out from ourselves with a focus on others, and to anticipate the Divine Union which is the essence of Christmas.  As we position ourselves this Advent may we be fully present to the joy and goodness of God in our midst and working for good in our lives.

 Star studded extravaganzas draw people from all over.  Undoubtedly people look to position themselves in order to get the best possible view and get the most from the event.  Many look to experts to learn the best ways to maximize the experience.  Blessed Solanus is an expert in finding God’s presence.  Accompanying Blessed Solanus through Advent lays out an ideal way to position oneself to encounter Christmas in a most rich way.  The events and inspirational thoughts of Blessed Solanus provide the stepping stones for this unique Advent journey.

The first stepping stone is prayer.  In all things Fr. Solanus turned to prayer.  On November 30, 1896 Fr. Solanus began a most fervent novena to the Blessed Mother to be given direction for his life.  His life was going nowhere.  He had been rejected from the diocesan seminary and at the age of 26 was back at his childhood home.  He offered up his hopes and fears in prayer.  In his novena he stormed heaven.  On December 8th, he received the answer to his prayer.  He believed that the Blessed Mother spoke to him and told him to “Go to Detroit.”  In Detroit was the headquarters of the Midwest Capuchin order.  He would seek to join this Capuchin community.  Prayer served as the compass for his life.  He models for us this fundamental aspect of positioning ourselves for the celebration of Christmas; PRAYER with CONFIDENCE.

The second stepping stone is openness to God.  As Fr. Solanus began to carry out the directions of the Blessed Mother to go to Detroit, he had a sense of dread.  Earlier in the year, Solanus had visited a community of Capuchins in Wisconsin and was turned off by their seemingly cold and ultra serious attitude.  With the answer to his prayer being to go to Detroit and join the Capuchin, Fr. Solanus had a heavy heart.  Despite his reservations, he said goodbye to his family in Wisconsin and boarded a train which deposited him in Detroit on Christmas Eve.  As he knocked on the door to the monastery and was led to a small room to rest from his travels, Solanus felt as if it was a mistake.  He questioned why he was actually there and only found solace in his trust for God.  Solanus opened himself to God and what God wanted.  God did not take long to fill his emptiness and sooth his doubts.  At midnight on Christmas Eve, and only on that night every year, the brothers would joyfully go through the hallways and sing songs and ring bells.  This is what Solanus awoke to.  As he heard the joy and the frolicking of the friars,  Solanus had a deep sense of peace and certitude in the depths of his soul.  He was truly in the right place.  Opening himself to God allowed God to fill the deepest parts of his life.  God showed him exactly what he needed, exactly when he needed it.  He models for us this Advent the need to position ourselves with openness to God and God’s workings in our life.

The third stepping stone is going out of oneself.  Fr. Solanus was remembered for playing the violin.  Probably it was more for screeching the violin than playing it.  Father Solanus often offered his music to the friars, but it was rejected.  Father Solanus still wanted to give a gift from his heart.  He wanted to play songs of Christmas joy.  As he found himself turned away from his brother friars, he found himself before the tabernacle.  It was here that Fr. Solanus would play his violin for baby Jesus in the Eucharist.  Fr. Dan Crosby, a young Capuchin brother stationed at St. Bonaventure during the last year of Fr. Solanus’ life,  recalls the Christmas Eve  he stopped to pray in the friars’ chapel.  As he knelt in prayer,  he heard a screechy sound coming from the larger church.  Fr. Dan opened the chapel door and up in the choir loft was Fr. Solanus caught up in the moment of playing his violin as a gift from himself.  Part of the Advent journey Fr. Solanus shows us is turning out of ourselves and offering a gift of ourselves generously to others.

The fourth stepping stone is uniting oneself to the Divine.  Fr. Solanus offered many sayings and insights throughout the years.  One saying about Christmas was especially rich.  “Always Christmas Eve – Holy Communion Daily.”  This captured two dimensions of positioning oneself in Advent for Christmas; anticipation and Divine Union.  The approach to Christmas is full of anticipation for something good and wonderful.  There is a waiting, but it is a hopeful waiting that grows as the time nears.  Little children capture this so well as Christmas nears and their anticipation mounts.  In deed the greater gift is Divine Union.  Christmas is the arrival of the Divine into the physical world.  The Love of God bursts forth onto the human plane, in flesh and blood.  Every time we receive Holy Communion, we receive the Divine in flesh and blood.  The Love of God bursts into our souls.  We are present to the indwelling of the God.  We are united to the Divine.  Every time we receive Holy Communion, it is Christmas Eve…it is Jesus’ birth in our souls.  As we position ourselves to celebrate Christmas we become mindful of the great gift we have of God offering us true union with this Presence of Eternal Love.

Advent with Blessed Solanus takes us along a path in which we can position ourselves to have the fullness of the Christmas celebration.   Blessed Solanus calls us to root ourselves in prayerful confidence, to open ourselves to workings of God, to move out from ourselves with a focus on others, and to anticipate the Divine Union which is the essence of Christmas.  As we position ourselves this Advent may we be fully present to the joy and goodness of God in our midst and working for good in our lives.

Respectfully submitted,

Sally McCuen

Hospitality Coordinator