Friday, July 2, 2021

MIRROR OF LOVE

 It all began when Ven. Maria Celeste Crostarosa received a revelation while she was still a novice to, “Stamp on your spirit the features of his life and the resemblance of him that comes from imitation.   Be on earth living and inspired images of my beloved Son.  Carry him about as the life of your heart and as the goal of your existence and as the Master of your spirit.” Intent of the Father  “This instruction was for her soul like a polished mirror into which, she remained gazing continually at the dazzling light of the sun (Son) and found herself at once drawn into the divine splendor of her Well-Beloved.” Autobiography    Celeste, and the Order which she was to found, was called from the beginning to be for the world a Mirror of God’s Love.

Likewise, we are called to fix our gaze on the Son and, as if gazing in a mirror, see not only the splendor of His Being but in our own being a living reflection of God’s eternal love.   “It is in this that the Redeemer is able today to accomplish His work of salvation in us and through us.”  Const. 5    For, “The more we strive to live the love of Christ, the more the thoughts and feelings of Christ will fill our spirit and our heart, the more we will become His faithful images.”  Const.6

Like a double exposure of a photograph, one superimposed on the other, we endeavor to be Christ the Redeemer to one another:  “To be a living copy and faithful portrait of Jesus so that he might find himself in you, and you recognize yourself in him, your God through faith.”  Florilegium 6.

Ven. Celeste had a creative spirit.  Just reading her works gives us insight into the richness of her inner life by the way she uses imagery in her writings.  She was also pliable in the hand of God by opening her heart and allowing God to shape and mold her, transform her into the image of the Son.

Everyone is called to remain moist and be shaped by God.  And by that transformation, we follow the Redeemer and make his saving action alive in our own time and place. This became clear to Bl Celeste when she marveled, “I no longer saw myself, but I saw You in my very self and myself transformed into You, my Most Pure Love.”

Jesus invited Celeste, and us, with these words, "If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross each day and follow me." (Luke 9:23)  Celeste’s response was, “Oh with what love I embraced the cross, loved it, desired it and took pleasure in it -- all for your love.”  She continues, “Likewise those who love bind themselves to the cross…savor the true and solid sweetness of God and the true peace found therein.”  Florilegium 118.

Celeste describes Jesus the Redeemer as the mirror of the Father.   She invites us to look into this mirror of the Son, saying, “Those who are pure of heart know the Father because they look upon the Redeemer fixedly with a gaze of love.” and adds: “They are children of the light because with the vision of right intention, they gaze into the mirror of the divine perfections of their God.”   The Mystic Who Remembered’ by Joseph Opptiz, CSsR      Let us be Mirrors of Love, of the Redeemer, of our God.

Question:

How am I a ‘Mirror of Love’ witnessing to the world God’s love?


Tuesday, June 15, 2021

WHAT DO THEY DO ALL DAY?

 As you would suspect, our life revolves around prayer. And, that as Redemptoristines, we hold in a special place in our heart our Redemptorist Priests and Brothers and their various apostolic missions.  So, there is no mystery there.     

The mystery begins with the Title of Chapter I of our Constitution and Statutes which sets the theme for our life: We are called by the Father to be, in the Church and in the world of today, a living memorial of Christ the Redeemer. Const. 5 expands this thought of being a Living Memorial as …a constant Reminder of all that the Son accomplished for our salvation during His life on earth.  It is in this way that the Redeemer is able today to accomplish His work of salvation in us and through us.

Constitution 44 describes how: At the heart of our life is the Liturgy of the Hours and Eucharist making the day and night holy in a perfect sacrifice of love and praise. The Sisters life of prayer, praise and intercession reaches out to embrace all the needs and intentions of the entire world into the heart of Father.

The apostolate of the Redemptorists is sustained by the contemplative life of the nuns, and the Redemptorist ministry gives incentive to the life of prayer to the Nuns who are themselves fully missionary. Const 13

But what do the Sisters do all day?  Each sister brings her own unique self to our mission of prayer for the Church and the world.  In charity, each offers her gifts to use in the service for her sisters and in union with Christ the Redeemer.

We live in the shadow of Mount Beacon in New York. On June 25, we celebrate our 8th anniversary of living with the Carmelites.  We were welcomed with open arms to the Monastery of the Incarnation after our move from the property of Mount St. Alphonsus in Esopus. With the Carmelites we share liturgy, meals, household chores and recreation. We are enriched and nourished as we join in the celebration of each other’s feasts and special occasions, and share quiet times of retreat.   The park-like setting of the monastery is perfect for contemplating the peaceful, wondrous beauty of God’s nature surrounding us.

Besides the regular household chores that everyone else in the world does, like taking out the garbage, recycling, laundry… A couple of Sisters are involved with the making of CSsR habits. Others plan liturgies for Mass and prayer throughout the day or, because of the pandemic, Morning Prayer with Communion. Sisters accompany folks on their life journey by spiritual direction and the apostolate of the pen (computer) writing letters, emails and Spreading the Good News of Salvation via our website.  There you can see pictures of the Sisters, read reflections on our Homepage and Blog (Followers of the Wayfarer), learn about our foundress Blessed Maria Celeste Crostarosa, our history and Sisters’ Stories.  You can ponder art and haiku and even do a brain teaser by solving the CryptoPrayer. You are welcome to leave a prayer request or learn how to donate to the community by your purchases on AmazonSmile. Take a look: rednunsny.org.  

Nightly, we have a ‘holy hour:’ the news and Jeopardy! Like many of you, we follow the news and discuss and pray over what we can do personally and as contemplatives to heal the divisions of our country, world and church.  

An important part of our life is to be able to relax with one another.  It is an essential part of all life, it fosters growth, and peace of mind and heart which the contemplative life needs in

order to flourish.  Many sisters have gardens and enjoy puttering among the blooms. Most enjoy walks around the property or bird/deer watching from their rooms. Scrabble, crossword and jigsaw puzzles are favorite activities, as is watching the occasional DVD.

All our life is lived with the mindfulness that we are part of something bigger than what is seen from the outside. Though hidden from sight, it is in our interaction with one another and with those we come in contact with that we witness to this new heaven and new earth by our faith, hope and charity in every aspect of our human and religious life.   In the monastery we strive to become the Redeemer’s faithful images of Him who is our Beginning and our End, our Way and our Life. Const. 6

We recently mailed out our invitation to join us in prayer, from a distance, for our Novena in honor of Our Mother of Perpetual Help. We unite ourselves in prayer with the Blessed Virgin for all the special intentions we receive through return mail. Our Const. 16 encourages us to, …Like Mary and with Mary, strive to live in constant communion with Christ, who is the light of our faith, the strength of our charity and the source of our hope.

So, you see, the mystery mission of our contemplative life is entirely centered on being a living memory of the love of the Father manifest in Christ the Redeemer to the world in union with our brother Redemptorists.   It is as simple, and profound, as that. 

Saturday, May 1, 2021

VINE AND BRANCHES

The Fifth Sunday of Easter        

“I am the vine, you are the branches.”  How precise!  Jesus’ words to his disciples, at least in this case, are so simple to understand!  What more needs to be said?   I’ll give it a try.

As followers of Jesus, we come from a long line of branches; off-shoots of the vine that is Jesus from where we trance our Christian ancestry back through our family, friends and church community. We may not know all their names but they are part of our family tree. 

Jesus is the trunk, the vine, with deep roots going back all the way to Abraham.   Each year during Advent, we hear the genealogy of Jesus.  Those ancestors on Jesus’ root-branches come with many unpronounceable names.  Some are saints, some are scoundrels. There are a few foreigners and, heavens, a handful of women, including Mary, the wife of Joseph, the mother of Jesus.  The point is, each and every one of us is connected, not only to Jesus and his ancestors, but to each other through faith in the living God. And as followers of the Risen Lord, it is our call to bear much fruit for all generations to come by remaining true to our baptismal promises, which we renewed at Easter.  

You may ask yourself, “How can my life bear fruit in today’s world?  I am just a tiny grape on an insignificant branch on the vine, Jesus.”  

Have you ever seen grapes growing?  In the wild they are a tangled mess and bear sour grapes. In vineyards, however, after the vinedressers mercilessly prune the branches, you think nothing will ever grow on them again. But come early May, the tiniest clusters of blossoms appear, and by early Fall sweet grapes are harvested.

The patron saint of vinedressers is the martyr St. Vincent of Zaragoza.  In France, during his feast late in January, the vinedressers prune the grape vines in the dead of winter as they sing a song that plays on his name, Vincent, (Va -saw) and sing about (Va-song) Vin-sang, meaning ‘wine-blood.’  When pruning, sap, the wine-blood, begins to stimulate positive pressure to activate the dormant roots.  In learning this tidbit about wine-blood, I thought of how Jesus in his passion shed his wine-blood for us on the cross.  

At the Lord’s Supper, Jesus took the cup, gave thanks and gave it to his disciples saying, “This is the blood of the covenant poured out for you.  Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 1 Cor 11: 25     

When we receive the Eucharist we are nourished by the Body and Blood of Christ to live out our Baptismal covenant.  Because of the pandemic, we have refrained from receiving the Precious Blood.  We may feel we have been pruned by life, and God, this past year.  Yet God, the Merciful Vinedresser, is ever near tending to our every need. God is as close to you as the pulse of your heart, the blood flowing through your veins.  Nothing can separate us from belonging entirely to Christ. 

Again, “How can I, a single grape on the vine, make a difference by my Baptismal covenant?”

We can, and do, because we are made in the image of God and being a member of God the Father’s family tree, abiding in the diVine Son, Jesus.  Let me give you some examples of how one person made a difference.

I recently watched on PBS a series called, ‘My Grandparents’ War.’  The first episode spotlighted the actress Helen Bonham-Carter, Bellatrix of Harry Potter fame.  Her mother’s father, Eduardo Propper was the Spanish ambassador to France when the Germans invaded the country.   Against his country’s wishes, Eduardo wrote thousands of visas giving the Jews safe passage through Spain to Portugal.   One of those Jews he saved was Ludwik Rajchman, who became the founder of UNICEF.  Propper saved thousands of lives.  Then Rajcham went on to save millions of children from starvation and lack of education through his work. 

During Lent our community watched a DVD, ‘A Hidden Life,’ about Franz Jagerstatter, a conscientious objector in Nazi Germany.  This Austrian farmer was a fun-loving husband and father of four. Franz was executed for his refusal to support in any way the evils the Nazism. Only his wife stood by him. Their neighbors shunned them. His pastor and bishop tried to persuade him against the folly of his actions.   But Franz’s faith and trust in the ultimate goodness of God gave him the grace to say no to hatred and war, and to stand as a witness to peace. In 2007, he became Blessed Franz Jagerstatter.  His wife and children were present to see him acclaimed a martyr for the faith.    

Recently, the young climate change activist Greta Thunberg,
who as a lone 15-year-old student began a world-wide movement, said, “I have learned you are never too small to make a difference.” 

          In one way or another, because we bear a family resemblance to God, and by the deep roots of our faith, we abide in the diVINE Son, Jesus, and share the wine-blood of our Lord in our daily lives by living in remembrance of him hope-filled lives for the future.  

  

 We may never know what our Christ-like influence has been on those around us.  Perhaps it was the smile you gave someone on the street that brightened their day.  Perhaps it was the listening ear you gave someone who needed to unburden themselves.  You may not have had any advice or answers but the act of presence meant everything to that person.  Perhaps it was the positive pressure of a secret act of kindness, or paying ‘it’ forward, that activated a person’s heart to blossom anew on the vine of Jesus by stimulating their hearts in faith in the merciful love of God that they too may go out bear much fruit.   

Let us keep our family tree alive and growing.  We may still need the occasional pruning, but the Merciful Vinedresser is constantly at work shaping us into the image of his diVINE Son.  Let us live our life in remembrance of Jesus and show our thanks to God by remaining in Christ and bearing much fruit.            

Let us pray:        God of love, plant us in the soil of your grace.  Nurture us with the strength of Christ, the vine of everlasting life.  Enlighten us with the wisdom of your Spirit, which flows through us today and always.   Abide in us that we may abide in you and bear much fruit.   Amen.  Alleluia!

Saturday, April 3, 2021

 

In the Victorian language of flowers their meaning is faithfulness and longing for the beloved.  I imagine violets to be associated with MARY MAGDALENE.  She had been a faithful follower and supporter of the Lord ever since Jesus cast out from her seven demons.   Here is why I think of violets when I think of Mary Magdalene:

On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and I don’t know where they put him.”  So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb.  They saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head.  They saw and believed, yet they did not yet understand the scripture that he had to rise from the dead.  Then the disciples returned home.  see John 20:1-10

But Mary of Magdala slid down the side of the opening of the tomb and wept.  She found herself sitting among violets.  How faithful those little flowers were growing in the gravel in the garden of tombs.  Her eyes, bruised from sorrow and sleeplessness, matched their mournful color.  She reached out to caress a small cluster and picked but a handful to inhale their delicate scent which only a few can discern.  The fragrance calmed her beating heart.  Slowly, she put one small violet in her mouth.  The sweet flavor heartened her spirit.  With renewed strength, Mary raised her dark eyes, and with such longing in her heart, began searching the garden for the One she loved.  Nearby was a gardener.    She lifted her violet filled hand to him as she gently called out, “Please, if you have carried him away, where have you laid him?”    MKQ’19

Monday, March 1, 2021

THE PROMISES OF CHRIST

When we pray "Make us worthy of the promises of Christ," what are we asking for?  What are the promises of Christ?  Peace, rest in this life and eternal life in the life to come. 

 Oh yes, and crosses too.  They come in all sizes: small and large, simple and complex.

Do we rejoice in all these promises?

Listen to the words Jesus says to his followers:  “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.  The peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. Jn 14:27

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke (cross) upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  Mt 11:28-29

Jesus told Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life.  Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live.” Jn 11:25  

Do we believe these promises of Jesus?   What do they entail from us?  An open heart, willingness to change, growth in our relationship with God and others, an acceptance of crosses and self-emptying that leads to new life and resurrection.

How can we achieve these promises of Christ? 

One of the practices of Lent is making more time for God in our lives.  That is where we can begin to find the peace and rest we need in our hectic lives. Jesus once said to Ven. M. Celeste, “You are for me alone and I am for you alone; I am your Solitude and Repose; I am your sweet Company, your profound Centre of Peace where I will accomplish that which I promised.”  Florilegium 50

Then Jesus Christ made to Celeste a present of his divine Heart and gave her at the same time…unbreakable promises of uniting her to Himself eternally in faith, hope and love.  It seemed to her, from that moment, she was raised to a new life.  Florilegium 69

At another time Jesus said to Celeste, “All the crosses and troubles of life which the Father might be pleased to send you are not only to obtain your eternal crown, but also that you might be living images of my Humanity.”   Florilegium 118 


I am sure you are like me and don’t enjoy ‘crosses and troubles.’   But they are a part of being human.  If we are called to be ‘living images of Christ’s humanity’ then we are called to accept the crosses in our lives. And we don’t have to look for crosses, they come. These, too, are gifts from God. They give us new awareness.  They change us.  We can grow from them and then experience new resurrected life in Christ.   

One way to see if we are changing and growing in our relationship to God and others is to review our day.  1 Corinthians 13:3-4 has a simple formula to gauge how we are doing.  It says:   Love is patient; love is kind, love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful. It does not rejoice at wrong but rejoices in the right.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never ends.

While reflecting on our day we can paraphrase this by asking ourselves:  Am I patient?  Am I kind?  Am I jealous, boastful, arrogant or rude, and so on…? 

Reflecting on our day is not meant to get us down on ourselves – we are human, after all; things happen.   It is meant to be an eye opener so we can see where change and growth are needed. 

If you continue to read 1 Corinthians 13: 12-13 the last line says, “Now I know only in part; then (in heaven) I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. For now, faith, hope and love abide, and the greatest of these is love.”  That is another promise of Christ. Love abides.  So, do not be afraid.   Love never ends.   This is what Jesus promised Celeste that she/we will be united to Him eternally in faith, hope and love.  Now that is cause to rejoice in the promises of Christ!     

What has Jesus promised you?      

Saturday, January 30, 2021

THE RESET BUTTON

Reflection for the Third Sunday of Ordinary Time

You hit the snooze button on your alarm clock and burrow back down under the covers for a few more minutes of peace.  Life amid the pandemic, social injustice and political upheaval has left us exhausted.  It’s time for a reset.  

In today’s first reading, Jonah warned the people of Nineveh to turn from their evil ways.  And, remarkable, they do.  The people of Nineveh, great and small, realized their wrong doing, pressed the reset button and humbly repented. And then rejoiced when their lives were not destroyed when the God of Mercy showed abundant concern for them and their great city. 

God is concerned about us, also.   How many of us prayed like never before when the Capitol was attacked the other week.  God wept to see our anguish.  The Inauguration is a kind of reset button where we, as a country, and as beloved children of God, must take stock of all our failings and humbly work together to make the kingdom of God a reality in our own time and place.  The God of Mercy calls us.  We ought to rejoice to hit our own reset button and begin our lives anew like Peter and Andrew, James and John on hearing Jesus’ call to follow him.

We long for Jesus, God’s promise of mercy, to liberate us from this darkness we are experiencing.  Like his followers before us, we can reset our lives by listening to his word in scripture to learn the lessons of love.  Only then may we begin to lessen the load that weighs us down and lead others by our example of humble repentance to live rejoicing in the here and now.  Jesus is THE RESET BUTTON.  It is time.   Press reset.



Sunday, December 20, 2020

DECEMBER 20, 2020 O ANTIPHON O KEY OF DAVID

 

Happy 4th Sunday of Advent!  I’m Sr. Moira Quinn. 
I am a Redemptoristine Nun speaking to you from the Incarnation Monastery in Beacon, NY.  Welcome to my reflection on the Great ‘O’ Antiphon: “
O Key of David, opening the gates of God’s eternal Kingdom: come and free the prisoners of darkness!”


     ‘O Come, O Come Emmanuel’ is probably the most beloved of all Advent hymns.   In the monastery, we sing the Great O Antiphons the last 7 nights before Christmas Eve during Evening Prayer as the introduction to the Magnificat: Mary’s hymn of rejoicing in the power of God.   Each evening’s antiphon gives us another name or title of God.  Tonight, we sing:

O come thou Key of David come,
and open wide our heavenly home;
make safe the way that leads on high;
and close the path to misery. 
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel!

         The ‘key’ in today’s Gospel of the Annunciation of the Lord is God’s gentle request, thru the Archangel Gabriel, and Mary’s humble and bold ‘Yes.’   This sets in motion our ‘release from misery and darkness   and opens the way to our heavenly home.’   What does Mary do when she accepts God’s invitation to be the Mother of the promised Messiah?  She rejoices.  She rejoices as she opens her heart and sings the Magnificat.

 

         Did you know the name Jesus, Y’shua, in English means ‘Jehovah sets free’?  That is the underlying theme of all the O Antiphons: our longing for God to free us from whatever keeps us in darkness.     In many cultures,

to know the name of another person gives you power over that person.  Think of the power we have in knowing, in our limited way, some of the names for the ineffable God; such as Key of David.  This awareness gives us the power to cry out boldly to God. 

         I just learned that ‘O’ is another way of saying ‘You.’  Can you imagine yourself boldly saying to God, “You, Key of David, listen up, open our hearts to set us free from dot, dot, dot.’ Not many of us would be so presumptuous in prayer, but I think God wants us, as St Alphonsus says, to talk to God as a trusted friend, and say what’s on our mind.

        

Sadly, we live in a time when we lock our doors and our hearts in fear of the unknown.  But the gentle Jesus is the Unknown One, who steals into this dark world as a babe.  And as a baby, our hearts are easily stolen and our burdens lightened.  Jesus, wielding the Key of Love, the Key of David, has stolen the stones that weigh down our hearts.  

         As Jesus grew, he gently and boldly announced to the world that he has come to break open the doors of our hearts to free us from the prison of darkness, hatred and fear, pride, misogyny, exclusion, arrogance, greed.

         Jesus wants ‘the eyes of our hearts to be enlightened, that we may know what is the hope that belongs to God’s call: the promised glories that God’s holy ones will inherit.   Eph 1:18      ‘God has taken us out of the power of darkness and created a place for us in the kingdom of the Beloved Son. 

Through Jesus we gain our freedom, the forgiveness of our sins.’ Col.1:14     Through God’s grace we become a people of boldness and humility, integrity, wisdom, generosity, inclusivity, compassion, charity.

         In this time of covid-19 there is a sense of loss.  Every-thing feels different. Winter is here.  Today is one of the shortest days of the year.  With only 9 hours of daylight
the darkness feels overwhelming.  We need light, we yearn for it.  Just like we yearn for God to free us from the darkness of our lives.   It is as if we lost the key to life.

         Recently, we bought a new car that has a key fob.  As long as the fob is on your person you can open the car door and start the engine.  This fob gives you an invisible power.  What is our invisible power?  Our power is our faith in knowing God holds the key to set us free and bring us into the light.   The Blessed Virgin possessed that invisible power of faith and trust.  When the Archangel said, ‘Do not be afraid, you have found favor with God.’  Mary was able to boldly say Yes, and the Most High’s heart was unlocked- and out flowed the Light of Mercy, the Beloved Son.  Her ‘Yes’ gives us hope:  Jesus, ‘The true light, which enlightens everyone, and has come into the world.’  John 1:9  

         How humble is our God to come into our dysfunctional world.   Born to an obscure couple from a middle of nowhere village with no social standing this child was loved beyond all measure.  Thus, were the humble beginnings of Jesus, the God-made-man.  By his parents love and their prayerful reverence, they modeled to the young Jesus the power and holiness of a humble life. God enlightened Jesus and he grew strong in faith and love.

It takes real strength to be humble, to know who you really are.  In the genealogy of Matthew, Jesus is called ‘the son of David, the son of Abraham.’ (Mt 1:1)      In prayerful union with the Father, Jesus heard the words at his Baptism in the Jordan and on the mount of Transfiguration:  ‘This is my Beloved Son.’ Mt 3:17, 17:5  

Jesus understood he was God’s Beloved.  In the Gospel of John, Jesus says, “The Father is in me and I in the Father” (10:38). “The Father and I are one” (Jn 10:30).  This proclaims the oneness of Jesus’ power with the power of God.   And as God’s emissary Christ uses this power to cast out the darkness of sin and enlighten us in the ways of God’s mercy and love.

         In prayer, we too, come to know we are God’s Beloved. 
        
Mary’s Yes happened 2000 years ago.  But what about our yes?  Like Mary, we can have the courage and faith, hope and trust to pray confidently.  We can boldly call out to the Most High to lead us out of darkness.   Our faith and trust in God’s unconditional love assures us   our prayers will be heard as we follow Jesus who lights the Way.    

        
An often-overlooked verse in today’s gospel says: “He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Lk 1:32-33  

         The prophet Isaiah says: ‘I will place the key of the House of David on his shoulder; what he opens, no one will shut.’  Isaiah 22: 22  

         What ‘key’ is laid on Christ’s shoulder?  The cross.  This cross is the key which opens and closes the way to heaven.  Thank Goodness, Christ’s life, death and resurrection and ascension has given us a means, by the forgiveness of our sins, to enter heaven. 

         Advent is not a time of penance.   It’s a time of finding again the Key of David by nurturing and strengthening the power of our faith and trust to bring about the kingdom in our own time and place.  

         Jesus humbled himself to become a tiny babe in Bethlehem.  Today he comes to us as friend and savior, to give us the keys that unlocks whatever is keeping us imprisoned.

What keys do we need in today’s world?  The Key of David, the Light of the World, has the answer.    In the monastery we have been singing Advent hymns since Nov 28th,  numerous times a day.  Around now, the 4th Sunday of Advent, I get a little tired of it.  So, I listen to some oldies.  If you are of my generation, you may remember England Dan and John Ford Coley.  They had a song that speaks to me in this time of pandemic and post-election.   I’m not going to sing it, but you can find it on YouTube.  It’s called ‘Love is the Answer’ written by Todd Rundgren. 
The last part says:

Ask the man in your heart for the answer
And when you feel afraid, love one another
When you've lost your way, love one another
When you're all alone, love one another
When you're far from home, love one another
When you're down and out, love one another
All your hope’s run out, love one another
When you need a friend, love one another
When you're near the end, love,
we’ve got to love,
we’ve got to love one another now!
Light of the world,
shine on me,
Love is the answer
Shine on us all, 
Set us free, 
Love is the answer

For me, this sounds like a call and response.   It’s something like what we do in the monastery chapel when we pray reciting or singing the psalms with one side responding to the other.  In this pseudo Advent song, we call out our troubles and plead with God to help us. And God responds simply by answering: love one another.

         God gives us the Key: the Light of the World, to show us how to love, to shine on one another.  This key opens the gate to God’s kingdom in the here and now.   Can you hear God calling you in your heart?  
Come out of the darkness; you are free. 

         Let us polish the keys of love, light and freedom that God has given us in Jesus.  Let us unlock the doors of our hearts that we may sing to Jesus, ‘We are coming to you, Key of David, you, Emmanuel.   
And with Mary we REJOICE!