"The movement of the sun and the stars in relation to the earth determine the course of the Christian year, but each of its festivals reveals part of the content of Christianity. the year begins just before the natural turning point of midwinter. It starts quietly with a season of preparation, of waiting, of listening for what is to come. It begins, like the day, with a quiet period of twilight in which the sky grows brighter and the early light gradually seeps through the grey of night, until the dusk is at last filled within the mighty glow of the sun's rising. Advent is the twilight which comes before the sunrise of Christmas. the mood of this time is quiet contemplation. the great truth of Christ's coming will be the theme of Christmas. it can be taken up in thought and pondered in the heart during the four weeks of preparation. The sense of expectancy increases as the thought deepen. the mood of anticipation gives the season its special character...."
One of the things that help in this is the actual house preparation, with more time indoors, we are having laundry better folded, the tidiness shows glowing in the living areas and the bedrooms are finally at peace. Also the starting of decorations, with lights around, pictures of the Mother and Child, the advent wreath, the tree without yet ornaments, the laying of the scenery for the manger scene, everything beautiful to hint at Christmas. The Advent spiral is also a traditional custom that exemplifies this silent, quiet, reverent walk to the center that lies ahead.
|The Light of the Spirit in the House of the Body|
"This season is one of struggle and its tranquility will often have to be won in face of disturbance. All the hindrances arise that could make hard and difficult the coming of Christmas as a spiritual event. Foremost among them is the commercial Christmas of the present day, drawing the interest of people to outer things, filling the quiet with material distractions.....This is not however the only kind of hindrance. Struggles between people, disturbances in destiny, often occur just in these weeks, which are rarely uneventful in ordinary life. the forces against quiet and peace of mind are out to shatter the true mood of Advent. Strength of will is needed to renew tranquility again and again, from within, against discouragement. Advent is not to be experienced without effort."
Every year, at this time, conflicts start to abound in my life, outer and inner conflicts, and I like to remind myself that this shall too pass, and that I need to show endurance in the face of upheavals, a willful yet soft endurance, like the whisper of a humming sound under a storm.
Click, clock, click, clock,
los enanitos van picando.
Click, clock, click, clock,
piedras preciosas bajo el manto.