Sunday, December 11, 2011


Sunday Reflection: Advent

Not so long ago, I began to distinguish between Advent and Christmas, two very different parts of the liturgical season. Christmas is a celebration, while Advent is a time of expectant and reflective waiting.

Our society is pretty good at celebration, but not so great at reflective waiting. I suspect that part of this is because our commercial culture has assessed that there is money to be made out of celebration, but not reflective waiting. Our urge to spend and celebrate is affirmed at every turn, but not so much that sense of quiet that Advent should include.

I'm good at busy. I'm not so good at quiet. But, I'm trying.

Thomas Kelly, in his spiritual classic "A Testament of Devotion", put it this way:

Much of our acceptance of multitudes of obligations is due to our inability to say No. We calculated that the task had to be done, and we saw no one ready to undertake it. We calculated the need, and then calculated our time, and decided maybe we could squeeze it in somewhere. But the decision was a heady decision, not made within the sanctuary of the soul.
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