Monday, November 30, 2009

advent retreat 1

Rev Gal Blog Pals virtual advent retreat 1

Mompriest offers a beautiful reflection on the year Advent 1C lectionary readings:
Entering the Advent journey is an invitation to travel, intentionally, into the wilderness – the dark night of the soul. One hopes that the Church guides this journey offering opportunities to pray, ponder, stirred up, conflicted. John, the desert prophet, proclaims the burning chaff, the background to our Christmas shopping. Advent sings of incongruous images - new birth and end of life, the Alpha and the Omega, of oppression and freedom, of despair and ultimately of hope. The path is uneven and twisted, spiraling in to the depths of our being, certain we are lost. And then, quietly, the Spirit of God calls to us, “Awake, arise, my love, my dear one.” The early morning desert sun illuminates the way - through the valley to Jordan’s bank - our God is near. Awake and hearken, let each heart prepare a place for the Word to break in, a child to come anew, whispering peace into you and me. Come, our long expected One, come.
Mompriest then suggests some questions to ponder:

1. John Newton, the author of Amazing Grace, describes our spiritual journey as a process of moving from desire for God, to conflict with God, to contemplation and peace with God. Many consider this process to be a spiral not linear. Based on these three "states" where are you in your faith journey?

Shorthand, nutshell descriptions can hint at reality but don't do well enough articulating the lived experience. For sure the spiritual is among the dimensions of our journey through life, but at the same time The Way of Jesus is earthbound, grounded and provocatively political and economic. Jesus calls us to engage the powers that be and at the same time the power of the HS enables us to do whatever possible to help create a world and a society where necessary goods and services are distributed equitably and where each individual gets opportunities to participate to an extent reasonably consonant with their abilities and desires.

In terms of my own level of trusting God along the often rock-strewn road, the labyrinth is an almost perfect model of how we find ourselves apparently closer to the goal of the center and a few step later closer to the edge. Where am I in my own faith journey? Interpreting "faith journey" as level of trust in the Giver and Sustainer of Life rather than my own level of merely human accomplishment, like many people, I'm far more trusting yet still imagining I can do it by myself. I remain at war with myself and with the Church and cannot be at peace until I again find a community of embrace that welcomes me, my gifts and experience and offers me reasonably full participation.

2. Does the mystery of Advent invite you into deeper reflection on your relationship with God?

...the mystery of Advent in some ways the "how to" is mysterious as we live simultaneously in darkness and light, amidst the reign of Christ and in the not-yet of still anticipating the Divine birth in our midst [everyone of the "both-ands" Mompriest lined out in her intro]. Every individual and each community has experienced broken dreams, irrevocably unfilled promises yet especially in the sacraments we keep on remembering, reenacting and reclaiming the eternal reality and the very present "NOW!" of our deliverance from death into freedom.


3., 4. Do you have a meditation of your own you'd like to share with us today ... or Advent resources?

I haven't written anything special but yesterday I was so very heartened at the live realization this is Luke's lectionary year again... I already mentioned shorthands and nutshells, and I love his emphasis on women, the marginalized and the Spirit! Although in the Day of Pentecost pericope in Acts Luke brings us maybe the most memorable account of the coming of the Spirit of Life, throughout Luke's gospel the HS always is present in a highly tangible manner.

1 comment:

Mompriest said...

Oh, thank you for this...I too love year C, Luke. I am most drawn to the parables...and the layers of story the offer.