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17th January 2020

Advent. Learning to wait

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What if the time of Advent renewed hope in us? Not an easy optimism easy that turns a blind eye to reality but that strong hope anchored in God and which allows us to live fully in the present moment.

The Christian year begins with Advent, a time of waiting. Why ? So as reveal to ourselves the aspiration that dwells in us and to sound its depth: the desire for an absolute, towards which everyone tends with all their being, body, soul, intelligence, the thirst for love that burns in each one, from the infant to the pensioner, and that even the most fulfilling human intimacy cannot fully appease.

This waiting, we often experience it as a lack or a vacuum difficult to deal with. But far from being an anomaly, it is part of who we are. It is a gift, itleads us to open ourselves, it directs our whole person towards God.

Dare to believe that emptiness can be inhabited by God and that already we can live the waiting with joy. St. Augustine helps us when he writes: “The whole life of a Christian is a saintly desiring. God, by making us wait, expands our desire; by making us desire, he extends the soul; in extending the soul, it makes it able to receive … If you want to see God, you already have faith. ”

Brother Roger loved this thought of Augustine and it was in this spirit that he prayed: “Loving God, when we have the desire to welcome your love, this simple desire is already the beginning of a very humble faith. Gradually in the depths of our soul lights up a flame. It can be very fragile but still it burns. ”

The Bible highlights the long journey of the people of Israel and shows how God slowly prepared the coming of Christ. What’s exciting about the Bible is that it tells the whole story of love between God and humanity. It starts with the freshness of a first love, then come the limits and even the infidelities. But God does not get tired of loving, he is always looking for his people. In fact, the Bible is the story of God’s fidelity. “Can a mother forget her infant? Even should she forget, I will never forget you”. (Is 49.15)

Reading this long story can awaken in us the meaning of slow maturation. Sometimes we would like to have everything, right away, without seeing the value of the time of maturing! But the Psalms open up another perspective: “My times are in your hands, Lord. ”  (Ps 31.16)

To know how to wait … To be there, simply, gratuitous. To kneel to recognize, even with the body, that God is doing everything differently than we imagined. Open hands,as a sign of welcome. God’s answer will always surprise us. By getting ready for Christmas,Advent prepares us to welcome him.

Even if we do not always manage to express our inner desire with words, silence is already an expression of an openness to God. During this period of Advent, we recall that God himself came to Bethlehem in silence.

A stained glass of the Annunciation in the church of Taizé, shows the Virgin Mary all recollected and available, she stands silently waiting for the realization of the promise of the angel of God.

As the long history that preceded Christ was the prelude to his coming to earth, even Advent allows us every year a gradual opening to the presence of the Christ in us. Jesus discerns our expectation as he once discerned that of Zacchaeus. And as to him, he tells us: “I must stay at your house today.” (Luke 19.5)

Let us allow the joy of Zacchaeus well up in our hearts. Then our hearts like his will open to other. He decides to give half of his possessions to the poor. We, today, know that a large part of humanity is clambering for a modicum material well-being, for justice, peace. During the Advent season, are there ways in which we can show our solidarity?

The texts that are read in the liturgy during Advent sketch a dream of universal peace: “great peace till the moon be no more” (Ps 72,7), ” forever peaceful” (Is 9,6), a land where “the wolf lives with the lamb” and where there is no more violence (Is 11,1-9).

These are poetic texts but they awaken in us an ardour. And we see that “peace on earth” can come to fruition in reconciliations that are fulfilled, in the confidence that some find with others. Trust is like a little mustard seed that will grow and, little by little, become the great tree of the reign of God “endless peace” evolves. Trust on earth is the humble beginning of peace.

Brother Aloys of Taizé

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advent. Learning to wait.

 

What if the time of Advent renewed hope in us? Not an easy optimism

easy that turns a blind eye to reality but that strong hope anchored in God and

which allows us to live fully in the present moment.

 

The Christian year begins with Advent, a time of waiting. Why ? So as reveal to ourselves the aspiration that dwells in us and to sound its depth: the desire for an absolute, towards which everyone tends with all their being, body, soul, intelligence, the thirst for love that burns in each one, from the infant to the pensioner, and that even the most fulfilling human intimacy cannot fully appease.

 

This waiting, we often experience it as a lack or a vacuum difficult to deal with.

But far from being an anomaly, it is part of who we are. It is a gift, itleads us to open ourselves, it directs our whole person towards God.

 

Dare to believe that emptiness can be inhabited by God and that already we can live the waiting with joy. St. Augustine helps us when he writes: “The whole life of a Christian is a saintly desiring. God, by making us wait, expands our desire; by making us desire, he extends the soul; in extending the soul, it makes it able to receive … If you want to see God, you already have faith. ”

 

Brother Roger loved this thought of Augustine and it was in this spirit that he prayed: “Loving God, when we have the desire to welcome your love, this simple desire is already the beginning of a very humble faith. Gradually in the depths of our soul lights up a

flame. It can be very fragile but still it burns. ”

 

The Bible highlights the long journey of the people of Israel and shows how God

slowly prepared the coming of Christ. What’s exciting about the Bible is that it

tells the whole story of love between God and humanity. It starts with the freshness

of a first love, then come the limits and even the infidelities. But God does not

get tired of loving, he is always looking for his people. In fact, the Bible is the story of God’s fidelity. “Can a mother forget her infant? Even should she forget, I will never forget you”. (Is 49.15)

 

Reading this long story can awaken in us the meaning of slow maturation. Sometimes we

would like to have everything, right away, without seeing the value of the time of maturing! But the Psalms open up another perspective: “My times are in your hands, Lord. ”

(Ps 31.16)

 

To know how to wait … To be there, simply, gratuitous. To kneel to recognize,

even with the body, that God is doing everything differently than we imagined. Open hands,

as a sign of welcome. God’s answer will always surprise us. By getting ready for Christmas,

Advent prepares us to welcome him.

 

Even if we do not always manage to express our inner desire with words,

silence is already an expression of an openness to God. During this period of Advent, we

recall that God himself came to Bethlehem in silence.

A stained glass of the Annunciation in the church of Taizé, shows the Virgin Mary

all recollected and available, she stands silently waiting for the realization of the

promise of the angel of God.

 

As the long history that preceded Christ was the prelude to his coming to earth,

even Advent allows us every year a gradual opening to the presence of the

Christ in us. Jesus discerns our expectation as he once discerned that of Zacchaeus. And

as to him, he tells us: “I must stay at your house today.” (Luke 19.5)

 

Let us allow the joy of Zacchaeus well up in our hearts. Then our hearts like his will open to

other. He decides to give half of his possessions to the poor. We, today, know that a large part of humanity is clambering for a modicum material well-being, for justice, peace. During the Advent season, are there ways in which we can show our solidarity?

 

The texts that are read in the liturgy during Advent sketch a dream of universal peace: “great peace till the moon be no more” (Ps 72,7), ” forever peaceful” (Is 9,6),

a land where “the wolf lives with the lamb” and where there is no more violence (Is 11,1-9).

 

These are poetic texts but they awaken in us an ardour. And we see that “peace on earth” can come to fruition in reconciliations that are fulfilled, in the confidence that some find with others. Trust is like a little mustard seed that will grow and, little by little, become the great tree of the reign of God “endless peace” evolves. Trust on earth is the humble beginning of peace.

 

Brother Aloys of Taizé

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