Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Hope of Advent Waiting

HOPE comes in little ways,
it only takes one shining star, one faithful friend, one wisp of inspiration,
one touch of creation's beauty, one deep sip of love,
to keep the illumination alive in us.
~ Sr. Joyce Rupp

So many times over the past few days the theme of HOPE has jumped out at me! I stumbled upon Sr. Joyce Rupp's wonderful quote a week or so ago and just loved it ... Then hope came to me during my Saturday morning walk through "one touch of creation's beauty" as shown in the picture above of the frost covered holly branch. Over the past few days I keep bumping into the word ... on a car bumper sticker, during the homily at Mass yesterday, in the lines of the psalm that I prayed during morning prayer, in several reflection prayer books I have and even on an ad on my e-mail page .... Hope is the word of the week for me! I do believe that this is what Advent and the beautiful season of Christmas is all about!

As I went for my walk this past Saturday morning it was very cold, a bit of fog was hanging and everything was frosted over ~ it was really quite beautiful. At first I couldn't get that Christmas song "... frosted window panes ..." out of my my head. However, as the sun started to peak through, the frost on the trees and bushes started to melt. My Christmas carol turned into a mediation....

Here we are in a very dark time of the year. For me, certain things in life have been on the bleak side. Three significant people in my life died within 6 weeks of each other a few months ago, and a short time later a friendly neighbor died. I've also been dealing with some health issues and the concern of an ailing Mom. All those things can start to drag a person down ~ or at least stress me out a bit. Seeing the beauty of the frosted holly branch touched me with refreshment and I felt a sense of hope. As the sunshine began to hit each branch, the frost disappeared and water droplets were left glimmering in the sun. That is what the light of Jesus, our Sonshine, does to our sometimes cold and frosty hearts. God's love can melt away so much if we can just bask in the warmth for awhile. Advent gives us that time ... time to be still, to ponder the mystery of the Incarnation and the wonderful gift of Jesus to us ~ Emmanuel ~ one with us! Let us light that third candle of Advent with joyful expectation and hope!

As Sr. Joan Chittister says so well, "Hope sends us dancing around the dark corners trusting in a common tomorrow we cannot see."
What brings you HOPE? How and when does hope find a way into your heart and mind? ... Please share ....
May the God of hope fill you with all joy, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. ~ Romans 15:13

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