Monday, November 30, 2009

Beginnings, Advent 2009

Yesterday was the First Sunday of Advent, the beginning of one of my most favorite liturgical seasons. I love the music for the season, the sense of growing expectation as Christmas nears and the sign of waiting. I also believe this is one of the few places in the Church's year when she recognizes the contribution of the feminine. Mary's yes, as much as her virginity and her motherhood are so vital Christian life.

Sometimes we say a wild, passionate yes to what we believe that God calls us to do when we are young and have no idea where that will take us. The road less traveled by sometimes, the hidden way some others. (St Therese of Lisieux did not not live long enough to see where her yes to the hidden way--her phrase--of the cloister would take her. She would be astonished, I think, to know how she is revered and I wonder if any of her writings contain any meditations on Mary.)

Sometimes that yes takes us into marriage that endures and is celebrated for decades.through all the trials of family life. Many of us have just given thanks for Thanksgiving and along with the turkey and leftovers have looked around at our families and given thanks for them. Expectation has been in the air on Thanksgiving too.

Yesterday was Stir-up Sunday. Time to get out the big yellow bowl and stir up the pudding or the fruitcake. This year, I will do that in memory only. Time to reminisce about the Christmas baking of yore. (One year I baked eighteen kinds of Christmas cookies, including two kinds of miniature fruitcakes. They were all delicious and I think I am still carrying some of them around on a body that is weary of carrying that weight.) There will be some goodies, but not nearly so many.

Time to get out the Advent wreath and the blue volume of the Liturgy of the Hours and to see what treasures it holds. Time to update my Advent lens on Squidoo and my Keep Advent group on Facebook.

I heard recently of an idea that I really like for an outdoor Advent wreath. Three purple balls and one rose one are hung in sequence on an evergreen wreath on the door. Next year, perhaps, I will do that or else make poufy ribbon bows for I have the wreath stored away in the garage.

I wish you a happy, holy Advent, time of expectation. May joy be at the end for all of us when we come to Christmas Eve.

I am grateful tonight for manifold blessings and for this season of waiting.

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