To seekers, one and all,
Advent, the beginning of the liturgical year, can be the beginning of so much more if we embrace it fully. In our Benedictine community, we carve out even more time for quiet, for reflection, for spiritual refreshment and formation. At each Advent vigil, on Saturday evenings, we celebrate the mystery of waiting and coming, of listening and transformation. And so, we invite you to the same this Advent -- using Sister Joan's reflection book, Sparks of Advent Light, we invite you to join us in this online shared reflection.
Before we begin, I would ask each individual who is choosing to be part of this discussion to review the guidelines listed in the next post. They will allow the discussion to flow more easily and will encourage more individuals to take part and stay with the discussion. I thank you in advance for your faithfulness to these simple guidelines.
To begin our Advent journey together, I invite you to reflect today on this excerpt from Joan's book, The Liturgical Year, as you set the tone and atmosphere for your own Advent journey. May it be blessed and holy and worth the time you take for becoming more.
Advent is about learning to wait.
Waiting hones our insights. It gives us the time and space, the perspective and patience that enable us to discriminate between the good, the better and the best. It is so simple to go through life blind ot the wealth of its parts, swallowing life whole, oblivious to its punctuation points.Then we fail to call ourselves to the small, daily demands of compassion or choice, trust or effort. If we do not learn to wait, we can allow ourselves to assume that one thing really is as good for us as another. Then we forget that life is about more than this life. We race over the top of it, satiating ourselves with the obvious, unmindful of its depths. We become stale of soul. We fail to grow spiritually,
Without Advent, moved only by the race to nowhere that exhausts the world around us, we could be so frantic with trying to consume and control this life that we fail to develop within ourselves a taste for the spirit that does not die and will not slip through our fingers like melted snow.
It is while waiting for the coming of the reign of God, Advent after Advent, that we come to realize that its coming depends on us. What we do will either hasten or slow, sharpen or dim our own commitment to do our part to bring it.
We all want something more.
Let us, then reflect together, sharing as you are able, on these Advent questions.
What is it for which you are spending your life? What is the star you are following now? And where is that star in its present radiance in your life leading you? Is it a place that is really comprehensive enough to equal the breadth of the human soul? Or do you want, need something more? How will this Advent move you forward, deeper, fuller?
Blessings on your journey -- Mary Ellen