Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Pausing



With the third week of Advent upon us, I found myself perpetually occupied throughout my day with schooling and Christmas preparations---cleaning, making gifts, gathering baking ingredients, preparing our Christmas newsletter, and planning activities for the 12 days of Christmas.  While my Advent prayers are recited faithfully throughout my day, I realized Advent was nearing its end, and I had yet to truly pause, breathe, and be still and silent with God.

Around the same time, I read this post by Elizabeth Foss, and the quote she provided by Saint Anselm seemed to speak directly to me and my desire to slow down and place more spiritual preparations in my day amidst the other activities.

Saint Anselm said,

"Come now, insignificant man, fly for a moment from your affairs, escape for a little while from the tumult of your thoughts. Put aside now your weighty cares and leave your wearisome toils. Abandon yourself for a little to God and rest for a little in Him.
Enter into the inner chamber of your soul, shut out everything save God and what can be of help in your quest for him and having locked the door seek him out. Speak now, my whole heart, speak now to God: 'I seek your countenance, O Lord, your countenance I seek.'
Come then, Lord my God, teach my heart where and how to seek you, where and how to find you… Teach me to seek you, and reveal yourself to me as I seek, because I can neither seek you if you do not teach me how, nor find you unless you reveal yourself. Let me seek you in desiring you; let me desire you in seeking you; let me find you in loving you; let me love you in finding you."

During the remainder of Advent, although preparing our homes for Christmas, may we hold tight to St. Anselm's words, abandoning ourselves to God and making ready our hearts for Him.  May we journey with Joseph and Mary, who while fulfilling their necessary tasks, ultimately prepared each moment for the coming of the Lord, their Infant Son.  During this season of Advent, may we remember to pause, remaining still and silent, and listen for God's voice guiding us as he guided Mary and Joseph on their road to Bethlehem.



by Eleanor Farjeon

1. People, look east. The time is near
Of the crowning of the year.
Make your house fair as you are able,
Trim the hearth and set the table.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the guest, is on the way.

2. Furrows, be glad. Though earth is bare,
One more seed is planted there:
Give up your strength the seed to nourish,
That in course the flower may flourish.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the rose, is on the way.

3. Birds, though you long have ceased to build,
Guard the nest that must be filled.
Even the hour when wings are frozen
God for fledging time has chosen.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the bird, is on the way.

4. Stars, keep the watch. When night is dim
One more light the bowl shall brim,
Shining beyond the frosty weather,
Bright as sun and moon together.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the star, is on the way.

5. Angels, announce with shouts of mirth
Christ who brings new life to earth.
Set every peak and valley humming
With the word, the Lord is coming.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the Lord, is on the way.

+JMJ+

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