Song du Jour

Song du Jour

Benedictine Thoughts, Teachings, and Prayers

Unveiling the Mysteries of Advent

A quote from “Fire of Advent” by Edward Hays, A Pilgrim’s Almanac, p. 187

   "Advent, like its cousin Lent, is a season for prayer and reformation of our hearts. Since it comes at winter time, fire is a fitting sign to help us celebrate Advent…If Christ is to come more fully into our lives this Christmas, if God is to become really incarnate for us, then fire will have to be present in our prayer. Our worship and devotion will have to stoke the kind of fire in our souls that can truly change our hearts. Ours is a great responsibility not to waste this Advent time."


December 3, 2012


Here we are again, entering and embracing another Advent.


After experiencing so many Advent seasons, why would this one make a difference in our lives?


With all of the Advent calendars around us: some secular, some religious; it seems to mean that the countdown is on for shopping, writing cards, preparing music, decorating, wrapping and the list goes on…


When does Advent really come into our hearts?


According to Webster’s dictionary, Advent means: coming, arrival, and reaching. When I try to remember something, I try to think of the letters and the word it can make in order for me to recall the message. If we think of the word, CAR, we think of a means of transportation, we are going somewhere from point A to point B; this may help us to remember what Advent is all about: we are going somewhere as well as going to reach a destination but not alone. C = coming, A = arrival, R = reaching. If we put aside all of the Christmas preparations and focus on our soul work for Advent, where would we begin? We will have to set time aside to focus, be still, and wait in silence for God to speak or us to speak. Then listen for God or us to respond…now the Advent dialogue begins every day. How can we come, arrive, or reach if we don’t get into the CAR.


This Advent is very different for me because I have been awakened to a book in a course that I am taking entitled, Meeting Christ in the Mysteries by Gregory Collins.


Part of my assignment was reading about the liturgical year which included Advent and Christmas. I have just never thought of the mysteries of the Trinity as I have now…now that Gregory Collins has given me a new perspective to ponder.  He takes Advent back to God, the Father and how he held the mystery of his Son in secret, in the cave of his heart for ages and ages, just waiting for the appointed time to bring Christ to Earth as a human being.


The people of Israel were the chosen people that God, the Father, selected to receive the Good News of his Son’s coming. No one really knew when the Messiah would come into their lives but from l’ador vador (Hebrew: meaning from generation to generation) they would wait and wait and wait. It is awesome to think about God, the Father, and when he thought it was time.


The next mystery is in regards to Mary as a young girl. The angel comes to her, gives Mary the news about being with child as well as WHOM she is carrying. When I say the Hail Mary now and think of the phrase, “…blessed is the fruit of Thy womb Jesus,” I cannot help but think now about her womb, this secret place, hidden from the rest of the world. Physically, all could see as Mary progressed in her pregnancy, that she was with child but no one knew who she was carrying. This was the human place, the human space, the human unknown that God, the Father wanted for the human race…everything had to be on a human level. In my thinking, I believe that only six people other than God knew who Mary was carrying: Mary, Joseph, Joachim, Anne, Elizabeth and Zachariah. The mystery was all to be unveiled before the world.


The biggest responsibility was that when the infant Jesus came to earth in a human way, it was now up to us to go and proclaim the Good News that the Messiah is here! Then when Jesus matured, he taught us about another word, CARE, C =compassion for one another, A = anoint one another, R = resurrection and E = Eternal Life; another way of transportation to bring us to another destination, eternal life: “my kingdom that is not of this world.”


For this Advent, it is unveiling God’s mysteries for us so that we can grow closer to him in awaiting the birth of his Son, waiting to birth ourselves in his mysteries gradually unveiled during the next three weeks.



Song du jour:

                       O come, o come, Emmanuel

                       and ransom captive Israel That mourns in lonely exile here

                       Until the Son of God appears.
        Refrain: Rejoice, rejoice Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel


“That in all things God may be glorified!”

Sr. Jo-El McLaughlin, OSB

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