Advent tugs more insistently than usual this year. Slowing down seems necessary, but not for its own sake--not like last year when I was stressed out with worry and anxiety along with the usual ailments of pregnancy in the first trimester. This year I find myself calm, finally settling into this new life, this new place. My partner settles into his job as I settle into my new religious community. We are happy.
Our joy is spacious and green with vitality. It is because of this that Advent pulls on me as it now does. I am open to it. I am at home, ready to ritualize deeply.
I will make my oblation to the Benedictine Canon community of St. Mary of the Annunciation two weeks from now, witnessed by all who are present at the St. Augustine Gaudete Sunday liturgy.
The color for Gaudete Sunday is rose,
and by rose I mean resurrection,
and by resurrection I mean the glorified new life
of a broken, animated body.
I am a broken, animated body,
ready for glorying,
I am broken.
Broken, I can be shared as bread
When shared as bread, I am Christ.
As I approach my oblation, my vow of self-emptying and steady prayer, I find myself contemplating Jesus as fellow minister. Scripture says Jesus was thirty years old (Luke 3:23) when he began his ministry, and it's commonly held, though scripture is not explicit in this regard, that his ministry lasted three years. He was like me--young, but not too young to be wise. I feel such a kinship with this man, the one who lived and walked and preached, who spoke out radically from and against his tradition. My christology is low this Advent, close to the earth, gritty, deep.
In addition to my new prayer practice (which I believe may keep me away from much of my ordinary internet time), I plan to plant a garden. Here in the arid desert, in the bright mid-winter, something may actually grow.
I invite you to consider an Advent practice of your own, and to share it below, if you wish.