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Preparation.


We are now in the third week of Advent. This liturgical season is full of rich and meaningful themes. Themes of waiting, beholding, preparing, staying awake, bearing the Light within. . . It is a season of getting ready and simultaneously being present in wonder. I am struck by Jan Richardson’s reminder in her book Night Visions, that as we ready, wait and keep our “attention on the horizon from which the the Holy One will appear” we are also invited to “draw our gaze to the path itself” in this time of preparation. She offers several questions to ask of ourselves in this season: What am I preparing for? What is the way that is being prepared within the wilderness

of my life? What does it mean for my own life to become a path, a way of welcome for

the Holy One? How do I give myself time to notice the ways that the path unfolds

before me and within me? What are the acts of preparation that bring delight to my

daily life? Whom do I ask or allow to help me prepare? She also reminds us that if we do not delight in the process of preparation, we likely will not delight in that which we are preparing for. . . or rather being prepared for. She says, “If we become so consumed by getting Christmas right—the right present, the right cards mailed to the right people at the right time, the right dishes for Christmas dinner—we risk missing the surprising ways that God prepares us in this season.” It is quite easy to get completely caught up in the horizontal axis of life without remaining awake to the reality that “as we open to God‘s guiding in these advent days, we may discover that the space being prepared for the coming birth lies within our own selves” (p.38-39). Not only can we discover that the space is being prepared for the birth of Light within our own selves, but we can also participate in companioning others as a midwife or doula in their preparation to birth the divine within themselves. Advent blessings, Heather

 

Readings from this week's pauses:

“My soul magnifies the Lord” — Luke 1:46 Magnificat “If here in the density of World 48 is exactly the place where the quintessence of the elixir of agape is to be extracted, then the conditions must not be overridden but rather lined—with the grace of that flowing, higher luminosity, lined with World 24 so to speak—so that the crucible of transformation can be endured here, so that it does not break our spirits. That is for me the imaginal meaning of the paschal mystery. Our Common Father really does love this world, because it is here that the restless roving and churning of that se of Eros comes to rest, and we hear in the silence the still, small voice of love. . . We are called to work back and forth across the divide of finitude not because the conditions here at the denser level are false, but because they are hard. Help is needed here, and it is freely and gratefully given.” — Cynthia Bourgeault, Eye of the Heart, p.131 The Body is Like Mary The body is like Mary, and each of us has a Jesus inside. Who is not in labour, holy labour? Every creature is. See the value of true art, when the earth or a soul is in the mood to create beauty; for the witness might then for a moment know, beyond any doubt, God is really there within, so innocently drawing life from us with Her umbilical universe – infinite existence … though also needing to be born. Yes, God also needs to be born! Birth from a hand’s loving touch. Birth from a song, from a dance, breathing life into this world. The body is like Mary, and each of us, each of us has a Christ within. – Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi Magnificat of Waiting for the Fullness of Time My soul reflects quietly on your fullness, and my spirit grows stronger in the hope of your promise, God my redeemer, because you have filled me with the knowing that you are alive within me. Yes, day by day through the course of time my awareness of the call to blessed fulfillment increases for you have done great things in me. Holy is this time, and patience is your gift to all who nurture the seed of your love . You have changed my life; I was so confident in my unknowing. You have deflected my fervent thrust toward iron-clad goals, and spread before me your vision of fragile simplicity. My longing to be a healing and reconciling person to your people is affirmed within the daily comings and goings of my life; The illusion that I am completed mercifully revealed. You are here now in this seeming emptiness of waiting, remembering your intent, …according to the promise made in the beginning of time… remembering your intent to reach through the work of my life that your fullness may be known now, in our time. — Ann Johnson, from Miryam of Nazareth in Luke 1:56 “This presence is like a passport to greater life. It is our connection to that Greater Being to which we belong, but which is often buried beneath mundane concerns, bodily desires, emotional disturbances, and mental distractions. Through knowledge, practice, and understanding, this presence can be awakened. Eventually, we will not be without it – whether in speaking or moving, whether in thinking or feeling. Awakening this presence is the most reliable and direct means of cultivating our essential human qualities, of activating everything that we need to meet the conditions of our lives. Presence is the point of intersection between the world of the senses and the world of the Spirit. May we never cease to discover its beauty and power.” — Kabir Helminski, Living Presence “The season of advent is a season of preparation, a time of getting ready for what lies ahead. In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus says of John the Baptist, “This is the one about whom it is written. ‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you who will prepare your way before you.’ ’’ ’And in another Advent reading, Isaiah proclaims to us, “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God” (Isaiah 40:3). While both Matthew and Isaiah draw our attention to the horizon from which the Holy One will appear, they also draw our gaze to the path itself. This season beckons me to ask, what am I preparing for? What is the way that is being prepared within the wilderness of my life? What does it mean for my own life to become a path, a way of welcome for the Holy One? How do I give myself time to notice the ways that the path unfolds before me and within me? What are the acts of preparation that bring delight to my daily life? Whom do I ask or allow to help me prepare? Chances are, if we don’t enjoy the process of getting ready, we won’t enjoy the event we are getting ready for. If we become so consumed by getting Christmas right—the right present, the right cards mailed to the right people at the right time, the right dishes for Christmas dinner—we risk missing the surprising ways that God prepares us in this season. As we open to God‘s guiding in these advent days, we may discover that the space being prepared for the coming birth lies within our own selves.” — Jan Richardson, Night Visions, p.38-39

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