By Fr. Paul Hansen, C.Ss.R.
Fall is my favorite time of the year – a time to harvest the experiences of Spring and Summer and to allow those experiences to mature in Winter into seeds for a new Spring on the human journey.
Advent is the Spring of the Faith year. It is a time to get the divine in Jesus right.
Advent is not primarily about sin and forgiveness. It is a time to reflect on all liberations from bondage, a returning from exile, seeing light in the darkness. It is about learning to wait and to yearn.
Advent is calling us to welcome anew the child, a baby at Christmas. There is no need for things fancy, monies stored up or flashy life-styles that are so often empty or superficial. It is a time to recover the deep meaning of our humanity and to celebrate that in ritual. In a child, any child, the wealth of a society, a nation, a world can be read. During Advent credit cards are not helpful for they take the waiting out of wanting and waiting is a necessary art in order to learn to see. Like a baby, we too must learn the art of waiting.
“After a mother has smiled for a long time at her child, the child will begin to smile back; she has awakened love in the child’s heart and in awakening love in its heart, she awakes recognition as well… In the same way, God explains God’s self before us as love. Love radiates from God and instills the light of love in our hearts.”
People of Faith are challenged to turn the babe of Christmas into the adult Christ present to our lives in the human struggle and to dance.