After trying for three months to find a date and time, I had brunch after Mass yesterday with a friend. We spoke of our recent experiences working abroad in Mexico and Myanmar, we spoke of God and choice and light and Advent and the fact that the world is a mess but full of God as well and can be no other way. In several ways it was a most restorative meal...an encounter with someone who also loves God deeply and widely and speaks of that love with wholeness and ease.
At one point we were speaking of the Advent call to watch, to attend, to notice and in the course of our walking that ribbon of consideration and trying to describe our steps, I was reminded of a paragraph I'd written lately for something else.
"One of the greatest attractions I have to Jesus is his ability to hold full knowledge of that which is profoundly human, with all of its contradictions, confusions, and mishaps right along side that which is most glorious and then say of the whole, “this is what is most real and true and where you will find my heart.” For me, community is one rich place where I have had this opportunity and experience—to hold both the earthly and the divine together and say “This is what is most real and where I choose to put myself.” I am called to grow there—in strength, in generosity, in kindness, in patience, in love… and I am called to receive the same from my sisters. It is not always easy, but I do not think it is supposed to be. The best I hope to do is be one who can hold the already and my sense of the not yet together to say Here are we, fallible and wonderful, and here is God, glorious and merciful, and that is what is most real. And to act in such a way that others can tell that I am trying to do that. "
May our hands and hearts and senses be open this Advent. Open to a world alive with both death and life, a world created in love, and please God, tending that bit of tinder and kindling to keep us warm when night looms.