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Posts Tagged ‘Advent’

What are we waiting for? Ah, the virtue of patience is once again called to mind as the season of Advent brings us ever closer to the day we celebrate as the birth of Jesus.

Every pregnant woman and family waits for a period close to nine months for new life to be born into their family. A time of anticipation; a time of dreaming; a time of preparation for there is much to be done before the day of the newborn’s arrival is at hand.

Each type of waiting brings about different things for us. Throughout our lives we will over and over again experience times of anticipation. When we are young and small, we anticipate being adult and all-grown-up. There will be many years, probably at least eighteen, before that comes to pass. And even then, we will have much important growing up to do and it still may be more years before the mantle of adulthood properly fits our shoulders. It takes time. One step at a time.

I was always taller than most my friends during my childhood years. Well-meaning relatives often stated, “She is big for her age” or “She looks older than she is.” Somehow those remarks carried a tinge of meaning I perhaps misinterpreted.  I heard these remarks to mean I should be something other than I was. So I waited for my own adulthood to arrive where age blurred the lines and no one would say, “She is tall for being 21.” A child’s thought perhaps, but I looked toward the day where age would not distinguish me for being too much of what I am.

Other happier times of childhood anticipation certainly was waiting for Christmas, waiting for graduation, waiting for vacation fun with cousins, waiting for mom’s great-smelling dinners from the oven or her fresh baked bread, with the aromas filling the house; waiting for my first date. As I got nearer to being an adult, I waited for my first job, my true love and marriage, our first child; I waited for our first home, I waited weight loss and management over and over again. I waited to see who our children would become, who they would choose as partners in their lives and what passion would fill their souls for the gifts they would bring to the world.

I waited for seasons to pass. I waited for problems to be solved. I waited for mysteries of life to reveal themselves to me. And for this I am grateful. As a young child, I read all the Nancy Drew mysteries, but that is not the genre I chose as an adult. I chose non-fiction that filled many book shelves throughout my I favored biographies and particularly  autobiographies. I developed a strong taste that started at a young age for spirituality and mystical studies of the saints and beliefs in the time of our ancestors of long ago. Human psychology and development peaked in my young adult life and never ceased. I sought to discover the mysteries of life in these books much more often than in a fiction novel.

The trouble waiting presents is that it is focused on the future. What I had to learn was to keep my focus on the present, do my work, praying, hoping, and believing in the present time. When I could keep my eye on the ball in the day I was living, my dreams or worries of the future would take care of themselves; and when the conditions were right, manifestation would occur. That could be either a deeply desirous dream in which I could rejoice. Or it could be some future problem waiting to appear from my jumbled and mixed up thoughts in the present.

So, what do I await now? Most of the time, I await for the day I am living in, my part of doing good in it and my recognition of both the need and the blessings I come in contact with in this very day.

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Advent Post

As the 2015 Advent season begins on this Sunday, I reflect on a few of its themes and how they play out in my life.

There is always………the waiting.

Waiting, with the action of one step at a time going on simultaneously. For I cannot afford to be paralyzed by inactivity nor lack of faith. I need to find myself in this very moment, and how  this moment blesses me, what this moment calls me to be.

This moment is like a prism, turning and shining in the light. Facets of the call, all present at once: I can be supportive, I can be kind, I can be taking care of self, I can hold belief, love and gratitude for this grace and gift of the moment. I don’t have to wait for any of those things.

I can wait to proclaim or judge by appearances. I can wait to label falsely. But, most of all, I am called to believe in the light…the light that the darkness could not put out. The light present before, through and after all creation. It still, shines brightly in our crazed world of gigantic needs.

This is the light that shines in me and in all others. This is the light that Advent calls us to see.

Father Alfred Delp, S.J was a German Jesuit priest condemned to death by the Nazis in Berlin, Germany. He wrote the following, as he was imprisoned:

Those who wait for you will not be disappointed.” Ps 25:3

“Despite this gloomy time, with a certitude about life and faith, we have set up the Advent wreath, even though no one knows how long it will stand or whether all four of its candles will be lit.

…”the course of the liturgical year and the message continues and we keep on doing things — but not for sake of custom or tradition. It comes from a sense of certitude about things and mankind and revelation — things that are fixed and valid in and of themselves.” (My italics)

These give mankind the right to light candles and to believe in the light and brightness of existence.

The basic message of this First Sunday of Advent is to attain to the Source. It enlightens our lives and dismisses what is questionable, so that we can believe in the brightness.

The human being we are must realize that he is a wayfarer, a scout, hungering and restless. He is dependent upon an angel approaching and touching him with the wing stroke reminder of a higher message.”

These words from Father Delp, written in the 1940s ring truth for me today in 2015.  I have felt the wing strokes of the angels swiftly touching me, particularly in the past couple of months during a time when I truly needed reminders of a higher message.

The wing strokes came from the graciousness of nature, in its splendid autumn colors, and the first cool breezes of winter approaching and a fresh first snowfall, which always brings joy to me. These messages have come from friends and family and prayer warriors helping bridge a time of diagnosis, surgeries and healing for my love partner husband in life. And not even being able to see the wings upon their backs, the higher messages have come through the skilled medical personnel, who performed their missions of healing and care throughout this time.

The light was present in the quietness of daily prayer, reflection, reading and meditation.

Carriers of the light…..we look to and upon each other.  And the darkness cannot put it out.

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