Direct from the Director: Wise and Inspired Reflections

Yesterday, marked the beginning of Advent. As we enter this season of patient waiting and listening, I share with you the following wise and inspired reflections.
As we begin a new liturgical year, we are invited to let the spirit of the Advent season influence the everyday events of our lives, to let it influence the way we connect and interact with others as people of hope. Hope should colour our attitudes, our judgements, and our reason for doing what we do. One author puts it this way: “It’s as ordinary as a birth of a child.; it is as extraordinary as the revelation of God.” During this season we are encouraged to watch and prepare. In what place in my life am I waiting for God to act? How do I feel during this time of waiting? What enables me to wait in patience? Am I finding ways to stay alert and conscious so that I can recognize the presence of Jesus when he enters my life? What discipline will I follow during Advent to help me become more aware of Jesus already present with me in all my life? Enjoy his enriching season of waiting and hope, and let’s pray for each other as we journey.
Fr. Jim Mockler, St. Peter’s Cathedral Basilica, Bulletin, First Sunday of Advent
“The season of Advent means there is something on the horizon the likes of which we have never seen before… .What is possible is to not see it, to miss it, to turn just as it brushes past you. And you begin to grasp what it was you missed, like Moses in the cleft of the rock, watching God’s [back] fade in the distance. So stay. Sit. Linger. Tarry. Ponder. Wait. Behold. Wonder. There will be time enough for running. For rushing. For worrying. For pushing. For now, stay. Wait. Something is on the horizon.”
Jan L. Richardson, Night Visions: Searching the Shadows of Advent and Christmas
Advent: A Time of Listening. All serious listening needs silence. The purpose of a regular practice of silence is not simply to listen, but to become a good listener. The silence of stillness calms us, so that we can begin to hear more profoundly. The silence of repentance liberates us to welcome the truth. The silence of expectation prepares us to recognize the voice that deserves our total attention. The Christmas story identifies that voice as the voice of Christ. In Advent we practise listening for Him, so that we will learn to listen to Him. The Word through whom all things were made became human flesh. In listening to that Word, in rediscovering the peace that he brings, we might renew all our listening. Out of our silence, we can then listen, truly listen, with fresh delight and sympathy, to the birds He has created, to the music that celebrates His world, to the human beings that are made in His image; we can listen, and we can hear them as we have not heard them before.
  And the end of all our exploring
  Will be to arrive where we started
  And know the place for the first time. T.S. Eliot
Sr Margaret Atkins, Thinking Faith