Thursday, December 9, 2010

Advent Awareness

Advent, that time of waiting for the coming of Christ and the celebration of Christmas. Advent, a time of preparation and anticipation ... This season of Advent has already revealed a new awareness or two for me, as well as teaching me a few lessons on the patience of waiting ...

On November 30th - the first Tuesday of Advent, I went in for some surgery on my lower leg to remove part of a benign tumor. I had been anticipating this surgery for a long time with great anxiety, but everything went fine and and I got to come home that very afternoon. However, I am now hobbling along and needing to keep my leg elevated as much as possible. I am not use to this kind of inactivity - I've needed to learn patience with myself and my inability to do what I am use to doing ... for awhile anyway. Oh how I miss my brisk walks! I wait for the day to be able to go w
alking again.
I also am in a waiting mode for the lab report. The lab work was sent out to the Cleveland Clinic ~ just to make sure of things ...
probably a two week wait. Anyway, circumstances like these add a good perspective to life that is for sure!

So, while I have been "down" I have started reading a book by Sr. Joan Chittister
(The Gift of Years if you are really curious). In the introduction she used a quote by E.M. Forester that I have heard before and do like: "We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.".
There is a lot of truth to Forester's words. So often we have all kinds of plans and they get interrupted or changed for one reason or another. Things happen! I travel a lot as you probably have gathered, and sometimes travel planes get messed up. There is a delay and I miss the flight, but then end up getting a meal paid for by the airlines and meeti
ng someone that was totally unexpected that added a nice surprise to the trip enriching my life. I am sure you can think of other great examples when "plans" took unexpected detours that really were better - there is lots of life waiting for us if we "let go" instead of fretting and stewing which I so often have the tendency to do!
And you know, in some ways that is part of what Advent is all about!
A time like this Advent season helps to give us a pause in life ... to step back a bit and come to a better understanding of what it means to "Let go and let God". We certainly have a wonderful example of that in the Blessed Virgin Mary (whose feast we celebrated yesterday) in her beautiful "fiat" - her yes to God! She let go of the life she thought would be, to then embrace the awesome life that was waiting for her!

In our Franciscan Morn
ing Praise for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, the second reading was from St. Bonaventure who wrote: "...the Archangel Gabriel was sent to the Virgin ...When she gave her consent to him, the Holy Spirit came upon her like a divine fire inflaming her soul and sanctifying her flesh in perfect purity. But the power of the Most High overshadowed her so that she could endure such fire." (The Tree of Life-Lig vit 1:3)
May each of us know many Advent blessings as we prepare for Christmas so that we also might be receptive to the power of God working in our lives and be prepared for the life that is waiting!

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