Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Advent thoughts

I'm very happy that Advent has come right on the heels of the political season. My soul is in need of reawakening to the things eternal; I've told many over the years that politics is about the temporal while the life spent with the Sacred is what is eternal. But I threw myself into the politics this year with a vengence, and am tired.

Advent is the season to get back on track.

I read the following on this am and it brought tears to my eyes: Customarily in the Christian tradition, the focus has been on these two “comings” of Christ. However, St. Bernard in the 11th Century identified a “third coming” that Advent leads us to await—the coming of Christ in our own soul. While the birth of Christ and the second coming of Christ are important to Christians, we must all still move through this earthly life on a day-to-day basis.

Keeping a watchful Advent reminds us that we do not tread these days in isolation. We can live in expectation of the movement of Christ in and through every moment of those days. Even though we are frequently distracted and diverted from attention to this movement within us, the season of Advent reminds us to turn inward yet again and seek the God that is to be found within us.

Advent is a time to notice the longing that runs through the silent crevices in our souls. It helps us learn to wait in patience for that longing to be filled rather than hiding it or numbing it by shuffling through the mall, standing in front of the open refrigerator, or sitting stone-like in front of the television. Advent is also a time to embrace silence and stillness in order to see more clearly and hear more keenly the movement of the Spirit of God. Finally, Advent is a time to rejoice with hope and expectation that what we say we believe will, in fact, be revealed in the ordinary and extraordinary moments of our lives.

I have noticed a desire to read, to write, to ponder. I've had little epiphanies all this week and I need to express them. I'm moving toward a sense of incredible anticipation that is yet unnamed. Is it for God? Is it for change? What is it? Again, the need to ponder and pray.

Prayer--I remember a few years back attending a workshop on physical prayer led by Nancy Roth. This was in the time I was a marathoner and otherwise avid exerciser. I stated during the workshop that I wanted to incorporate physicality into my prayer life as I wanted to make my entire life a prayer.

Making my entire life a prayer really hasn't worked. Doing that the way I did it meant hardly ever praying at all. The Divine Hours has been a wonderful discipline, but I lost that in the heat of the political season. Again, this Advent season I will gently explore the practices I once used to burnish my relationship with the Divine.

I trust this will be an interesting journey.


Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

I'm sensing this longing in myself and on a lot of blogs.

I loved this line from the quotation you posted: "the longing that runs through the silent crevices in our souls"

Lauralew said...

That is exactly the line that wet my eyes.

FranIAm said...

That is the line that got me as well...

Oh so much to ponder here. Thank you for this gift of a post Laura.