Saturday, November 29, 2008

Welcoming the New Liturgical Year

Reflections at Midday Prayer - November 25, 2008

It is our Redemptoristine custom to mark the 25th of each month as "Little Christmas", our monthly celebration of the mystery of the Incarnation. The remarks below were those of our Prioress, Sister Paula Schmidt. They were followed by a renewal of our vows.

This is the last 25th we will celebrate before Advent. The next one will be the feast of the Nativity of the Lord, on December 25th.

This morning I was reflecting on Advent, and tried to make a list of all the images that came to me. Many years ago a Redemptorist priest linked Advent to the English word Adventure…and the feelings that are roused by that. A certain excitement, some risk, a sense of mystery, something new, unexplored…

Advent is also a time of Promise---the Incarnation has already taken place and the Child is growing in Mary’s womb. One day soon, she and the world will see God’s human face.

So it is a time of fecundity…and not just out there!

The child of Mary has come to each of us, lives within each of us, wishes to take ever more concrete flesh in our hearts, minds, actions.

Nature at this time, at least in our hemisphere, is barren; the trees lose their leaves, the roots sink deeper into the earth. There is life but it is life reaching deep down into its source through the roots.

Advent in us is the same. There is a quietness both outside and inside. The light is less, the darkness is increasing and will continue to increase until the shortest day of the year, Christmas. Then the light will begin to increase again; light conquers darkness; Christ rises triumphant over all the powers of evil. This is what we celebrate in Advent and Christmas…

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