As Advent begins, and nature turns cold and dark, maybe it is the perfect time to nestle down and notice the darkness and light within my own life. Scripture says to us: “Let us then throw off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light” (Romans: 13: 12). This is a sobering thought as I begin this joyous season. Yet I am called to prepare my heart as I wait for Christ’s coming.
As I look into my own life, where is my darkness? Where is my light? There is a prayer practice called the “Examen” where I can stop at the end of the day, open to God’s love, and ask the questions: “What brought me closer to God/ Love today? What took me away from God/Love today?” This simple pausing in a quiet moment allows me to open to God’s light in my everyday life no matter how busy my schedule.
There is a different quality or “feel” to those events in my life that lead me towards love and those that take me away from love. Those that lead me away may feel good at the moment, but they are unsatisfying, unsettling and disruptive in the long run. Those that lead me towards God may be hard at the moment, but they leave a lasting sense of peace and satisfaction that energizes and pulls me generally forward. This distinction is seen in the life of St. Augustine who was left unsatisfied by the darkness and sin in his own life and found the Light of Truth that “Our hearts are restless until they rest in you, O Lord.” I can take a moment now to ask myself: Is there something in my own life which feels unsettling, stinging, unsatisfying? Lord, that I may stay away from this. Also, is there anything in my own life that is fulfilling, peaceful, graced? Lord, that I may do more of this. Please help me to know the difference.
Advent comes from the Latin word, adventus – an arrival or a coming. In the context of the season, Advent means that the Lord is coming. Read more of the Advent introduction...
First Week of Advent
Second Week of Advent
Third Week of Advent
Fourth Week of Advent