FIRST MONDAY IN ADVENT, SAINT ANDREW'S DAY.
O God of all seasons and senses, grant us the sense of your timing to submit gracefully and rejoice quietly in the turn of the seasons.
In this season of short days and long nights, of grey and mist and cold, teach us the lessons of endings; children growing,
loved ones dying, grieving over, grudges over, blaming over, excuses over.
O God, grant us a sense of your timing. In this season of short days and long nights, of grey and mist and cold, teach us the lessons of beginnings;
that such waitings and endings may be the starting place, a planting of seeds which bring to birth what is ready to be born— something right and just and different, a new song, a deeper relationship, a fuller love— in the fullness of your time.
O God, grant us the sense of your timing.
FROM “THOUGHTS IN SOLITUDE” BY THOMAS MERTON,
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following Your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please You does in fact please You. And I hope that I have that desire in all that I am doing.
And I know that if I do this, You will lead me by the right road although I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust You always, though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death, I will not fear, for You are ever with me, and will never leave me to face my perils alone.
A BIG-HEARTED FISHERMAN BECOMES A DARING APOSTLE OF THE LORD
November 30—Feast of Saint Andrew the Apostle; Patron Saint of Scotland, Greece, Russia, Romania, Barbados, The Ukraine, fishermen, sailors, lace-makers, singers and the unmarried ("Spinsters" - as in those associated with spinning and with lace-making).
Andrew was a fisherman from Bethsaida, on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.
Jesus chose mostly fishermen and small farmers to be His disciples, perhaps because in these professions a person can plan, sweat, and calculate, and still, in the end, fail. Success is not appreciated unless failure is an option.
Farmers and fishermen must depend on God’s providence for success. No amount of preparation can make the clouds open and the rains pour down, and no amount of careful planning will make the nets burst with fish.
Farmers and fishermen are hard-working, careful, thoughtful, and yet entirely dependent on the weather and other factors outside of their control. They must work, pray and trust in God in equal measure. They must have the discipline of faith. These are the qualities that made Andrew and others such great disciples.
The Apostles were mostly simple, intelligent, hardworking people whose outstanding characteristics were courage and daring. Many people who could have followed the Lord did not. Andrew and the others stayed, followed, were challenged, and renounced all that was known and comfortable. Andrew and the other disciples traded what was good for what was better. And for that generosity and daring we remember him today, so many centuries later. He was of that generation of trailblazers who sowed the seeds whose harvests the Christians of today have reaped and enjoyed.
FOODS CONNECTED WITH THIS FEAST: As St. Andrew was a fisherman, fish dishes are a feature, but there are other foods connected with this day:
Scotland: St. Andrew is the patron of Scotland. Scones, haggis, sheepshead and fish dishes are traditional.
England: St Andrew is a patron of lace-makers. On his feast, sometimes known as "Tander", areas such as Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Northamptonshire celebrate by feasting, drinking elderberry wine, sports and serving a special cake called the Tandra Cake, particularly in Bedfordshire. It has a bread dough base to which lard, sugar, currants, lemon peel and eggs are added.
Slavic Countries: Halushky (pasta dish) is cooked. Unmarried girls place slips of paper with names of single young men into the dish.
COLLECT: Almighty God, who gave such grace to your apostle Andrew
that he readily obeyed the call of your Son Jesus Christ,
and brought his brother with him: Give us, who are called by your Holy Word,
grace to follow him without delay, and to bring those near to us
into his gracious presence; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Information on Saint Andrew and associated foods from :