As We Begin Advent…
This week we begin the Advent season and prepare for our parish “retreat” time with our Dominican friends, Sister Patricia Bruno and Fr. Jude Siciliano. Three things to consider:
- “Advent is a time of standing still, and yet making a pilgrimage. A pilgrimage in which we don’t use our feet. A pilgrimage in which we stand still and yet walk a thousand miles across the world.” Catherine de Hueck Doherty suggests a way of being still while in the midst of life’s many ordinary duties. The longest journey we’ll take is from the head to the heart. After all the activity of this last year, let’s set out together on an Advent journey of stillness.
- Years ago, a friend once admonished me, “Slow down,” she said, “you’ll go faster.” Advent is a time of slowing down and opening ourselves to the great mystery of love: the Incarnation, Christ taking on human flesh. It’s the opposite of what our culture might offer as a “super-hero” move, since it involves getting vulnerable. We let down our defenses in order to receive the love our God offers us. God becomes a child for our sake. Jesus had to learn to walk, and so do we!
- A fellow friar recently invited me to think about the difference between “achievement” and “fruitfulness.” An important distinction! In the eyes of the world Mary achieved very little. As we approach Mary this Advent, we need to question our attachment to achievement and consider what it takes to be really fruitful.
Advent is a sacred journey we take together as a Church. Our destination can shape our hearts. This Advent let’s help each other move toward stillness, vulnerability and fruitfulness.
Fr. Dan Lackie, ofm