Monday, November 29, 2010

Advent in Our Hearts

A reflection on a reading by St. Charles Borromeo by Mother Maria Michael Newe, OSB.

The readings from this morning’s office of matins are so rich. It says in the second matins reading: “Beloved now is the acceptable time spoken of by the Spirit, the day of salvation, peace, and reconciliation, the great season of Advent.” Sometimes reconciliation isn’t always about everybody on the outside of us, but it’s about reconciling with ourselves within, being at peace with ourselves, accepting and loving who we are, so that we can love and accept others.

Sometimes, also, inner turmoil is not bad. There should be a little inner turmoil in the sense that we shouldn’t be satisfied with where we are all the time. There should be enough tension in our life to pull us forward; but with joy. And we shouldn’t go digging up old things that make us angry and mad about our life. Sometimes the reconciliation involves coming to peace with our own history, our own being and saying: “This is how God made me or allowed me to be formed.” Each one of us is beginning from the core of goodness that God has seen in us and wants to blossom like an olive branch, like the almond tree, like any tree that bears fruit.

The reading goes on to say, “The Church asks us to understand that Christ, who came once in the flesh, is prepared to come again. When we remove all obstacles to His presence He will come at any hour and moment to dwell spiritually in our hearts bringing with Him the riches of His grace.” What an incredible paragraph! For that very reason, we should be more aware of keeping silence in Advent. It’s a silence that simply ponders. It’s one that is not heavy, but light with a waiting. And we should ask ourselves what the obstacles are that prevent His presence. Sometimes it’s as simple as chattering, little things that keep us away from the thoughts that are the seeds of good. During this season, let’s be responsible to be quieter in our hearts and in our expression of ourselves.

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