Daily Reflection — Hear the Baptist’s Cry

"St. John the Baptist Preaching in the Wilderness" (detail) by Anton Raphael Mengs

“St. John the Baptist Preaching in the Wilderness” (detail)
by Anton Raphael Mengs


“All praise, eternal Son, to thee,
whose advent doth thy people free;
whom with the Father we adore
and Holy Ghost for evermore.” *
– – –
* Closing verse from
“On Jordan’s Bank the Baptist’s Cry”
by Charles Coffin.


The  words of this hymn serve to remind us of the incredible gift we anticipate and prepare for during Advent.

The best things in life are worth working for… sacrificing for… waiting for. This is a reality that too many in the developed world, especially in the West, but increasingly elsewhere, have forgotten or have never experienced. This is the generation and the age of instant gratification. It’s been so now for at least several generations. And there is a coming price to be paid.

The first indications of the coming price is the fact that the things of this world that we think we cannot live without… those things that we buy and claim even when we do not have the resources to do so… well, they simply do not satisfy. We know this.  We have experienced it repeatedly. But we don’t seem to learn. Now is the time to try something different… something radical.

Let’s choose—emphatically intentional—to work for, to sacrifice for, to wait for the one gift that will satisfy… the gift of great price that is absolutely free… the gift of God With Us—Jesus, the Christ.

Come, Lord Jesus.


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Deacon Mike Bickerstaff Editor-In-Chief, ICL

Deacon Michael Bickerstaff is the Editor in chief and co-founder of the The Integrated Catholic Life.™ A Catholic Deacon of the Roman Rite for the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Deacon Bickerstaff is assigned to St. Peter Chanel Catholic Church where he is the Director of Adult Education and Evangelization.

He is also the Founder and President of Virtue@Work, where he provides Executive and Personal Coaching, Mentoring and Organizational Consulting. Deacon Mike has 30+ years management consulting experience in senior executive leadership positions providing organizational planning and implementation services with a focus on human resource strategy and tax qualified retirement plan design, administration and compliance.

He is a co-founder of the successful annual Atlanta Catholic Business Conference; the Chaplain of the Atlanta Chapter of the Woodstock Theological Center’s Business Conference; and Chaplain of the St. Peter Chanel Faith at Work Business Association and co-founder and Chaplain of the Marriages Are Covenants Ministry, both of which serve as models for similar parish-based ministries.

He and his wife have two married children and three grandchildren.

NB: The views I express on this site are my own. I am not an official spokesman for either my parish or diocese.

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