December 5th, 2018

Happy holy Advent!

I hope you’ve each experienced the daily reflections posted on the website, facebook, and delivered by email. With so many medias, it’s almost impossible to miss! As for myself, I’ve enjoyed the writings immensely. Thank you to those who graciously submitted their thoughts.

Acclimating to ascetics (practices) of Advent, during the first week, is much like the first week of a new diet: difficult. There are many other tasks and priorities that have been cemented, many of which are almost impossible to work around. But there it is, the reason for the change: we become intentional about setting time aside in order to engage our spirituality and faith. Delving into daily scripture and reflection can have a profound impact on the soul; it always has that impact when supported by prayer. It isn’t simply just glossing over the musings of someone ‘other’ but rather hearing the story of their soul as it appears on the page. The same with scripture. The bible is unique in that it is a living, teaching love letter from God to the rest of us. Yet, we idly cast it aside as something archaic, unimportant, or irrelevant to our context.

Not all the time, but too often.

That’s one of the major tenets of Advent; the return to scripture and allowing ourselves to be vulnerable to its ongoing message to humanity. What speaks to you this week? What insights or ‘aha’ moments have you experienced? Have you engaged in Advent practice at all? Ask yourself these questions and I guarantee you’ll feel a pull toward the Holiness of this season. 

Tonight, I’ll be speaking to the youth about their thoughts on the reflections and scriptures offered thus far this week. I almost always learn from their perspective, as they (hopefully) do from mine. Are you engaging with anyone else during this time? Have you reached out to a spouse, partner, friend, or neighbor who may be reading the same material concurrently, just to hear what they’ve encountered? If not, try. You might be surprised.

The new Advent diet pangs go away quickly, I promise. Before you realize it, you’ll be hungering for a new food; the diet of scripture, interaction with your fellow faithful, and spiritual curiosity will begin to replace your need for the art of secular busy-ness. Keep reading, keep praying, keep listening. That longing voice inside you—the one that seeks God and the presence of His Holy Spirit—will be answered in short order by the cry of an infant that breaks the silent night; the infant who will save the world again.

Fr. Sean+