Monday, December 11, 2006

A People of God

Owen, from luminous miseries, had this to say in the comment box of my last post: "I have slowed my day down and my prayers by stopping my day at 10pm and spending an hour in prayer. Oddly {?} what is happening {over these past 14 days} is that I wish to spend more time, not less in prayer." It does seem backwards in today's society for something like this to happen, but really, it's logical! We are a people God. We, in our very core, long for the things of God and when we taste those things, it is only natural and fitting that we should desire them more.

Along the same lines, it seems more natural to me now to want to take time in my prayers and to really contemplate the words that I am saying and the meaning behind them. I have tasted the sweetness of breathed prayer and it is causes me anxiety to think of saying them any other way. How foolish it would be for me to want to rush through my time with our Lord, especially after seeing what fruits can come from careful concentration.

That is not to say that when my mind wanders from one thing of God to another that it is necessarily a failing of mine in the art of concentration. I would see that rather as something which God has granted to me. A favor, so to speak. Contemplation has a natural progression. I would not think, however, that such a progression would come naturally in such a hurried pace. How sad it is to think that so many in our world miss out on the fruits of contemplation because they do not take the time to sit and be still with Christ!

Stillness... something so pivotal in our lives and yet so contrary to everything we learn from society.

I want to practice stillness even more fervently during this advent season. I would hope that we all would. All around us the world is saying, "Hurry! It's almost time!" And what is it almost time for?

This Sunday at Mass our priest hit on a point I was going to get to in my last post (ya know, until I ran out of time). He said that after we left Mass, we wouldn't hear the word advent again until next week. For those of us who are unable to make it to daily Mass, this is true! Everyone around us is preparing for an exchange between human hands. What we should be preparing for is an exchange between our mortal souls and Love himself. We should be preparing our hearts to receive not only Jesus past, but Jesus present and Jesus future. (So to speak..) We not only prepare ourselves to celebrate the birth of Christ 2000 years ago but also the birth of Christ today and the coming of Christ tomorrow. We invite Christ to come and dwell in our hearts. But before we invite Him in on Christmas day, we take advent to prepare for Him room - room which is fitting for our King. Forget clearing our closets for the gifts we will receive, how about clearing our conscience so that we may have a spotless place for Christ to come and rest in us as we rest in Him?

We must be still. We must quiet our hearts, even in the midst of a noisy and rushed world, and faithfully say, "For you, O Lord, my soul in stillness waits."

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