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Thursday, December 1, 2011

What does Advent mean for me this year?

Here is my reflection on what Advent means to me this year:

What does Advent mean for me this year?

I want it to mean a time of preparation, a time of love, longing, and inner work. My soul needs a good housecleaning! Just as I can accumulate extras in closets and drawers, so, too, I pick up unnecessary baggage that crowds into my interior and clogs my heart. It is time to wait in silence with the Lord who will help “declutter” my soul if I can be still and allow Jesus to fill me with His love, peace, and joy.

Part of my inner work means taking time to work out a balance each day of prayer, work, exercise, and relaxation. I sometimes get caught up in work or a list of things to do and forget that when I relax and slow down I am aware that Jesus is with me and whether things get done (they usually do and better, of course, when Jesus is with me) or do not get done, Advent is here and now. Jesus is coming and that fills me with hope and desire. I also feel so grateful that I am able to take time to prepare for His coming again this year. I am missing the three days I have spent at the Cenacle for the past several years, but will make up for it by finding three separate days of retreat before Christmas, or I hope to do this. December 3 will be the Advent retreat at the University that I began over twenty-four years ago; I will be going to a party that night so the retreat day will be over by evening, but it will be a start. I am hoping I can make December 15th special, too, as I made my first vows on that day in 1952 and have vivid, joyful, memories that require a day to return thanks for that day and the years that have followed. Then, December 22 seems to be another day to save for quiet prayer.

Now, I hope you, too, are reflecting this week on what Advent means for you this year?

Now, as I do send many Christmas cards, I need to get these written and out of the way. It is a work of love, but does take time and I am sorry that I did not get it all done before Advent! However, I guess my Christmas cards help me to understand what Advent means for me. Each card brings my prayer and love to someone who is part of my life.

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