Thursday, December 11, 2008

Stream of Consciousness...

When I was a child, I was a total goof around “famous” people. Living right across the Hudson River, my family frequently drove into Manhattan for special events, and often, we’d spy some poor, unsuspecting celebrity. I chased Jane Pauley, then, anchor of the TODAY Show, around Tavern on the Green restaurant. I caught up with her easily because her leg was in a cast. A few years later, I shook hands with Placido Domingo during intermission at a Met gala - VERY cool. But the most fun was seeing Carly Simon at Kate’s Paperie in SoHo. I was in my twenties by then, but no less a fool. I didn’t speak to her directly. I just followed her around the store humming, “You’re So Vain” until her entourage gave me dirty looks. True story, I’m afraid. Carly came to mind this morning, as I was thinking about Advent. Remember the single, “Anticipation”? It was huge in the late 70’s. “Anticipa-a-tion is making me late. It’s keeping me waiting.” That was my leap to the four weeks of preparation for the coming of the Lord. (I know. My mind is frightening place!)

As we anticipate joyfully the coming of the Lord, there is so much cultural-Christmas everywhere, it’s difficult to stay in the graced place of waiting. Difficult, yes, but not impossible. Gabriel settled that score in his visit to the poor maiden of Nazareth: “Nothing is impossible for GOD (Luke 1:30).” It’s much easier in the monastery where Advent is strictly observed. There are no Christmas carols sung until Christmas Eve. Our Chapel bears the colors of the season - purple pink and blue. The hymn texts themselves provide rich theology for our private lectio. But out “in the world,” Christmas came before the turkey was eaten.

What to do… Well, there is much to be done in these weeks for loved ones and for the poor among us. Perhaps, it’s how we do our holiday tasks that will make all the difference. Advent makes all waiting holy. So, the next long line you’re on in a department store? Pray the text of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” to soothe your frustration and return your soul to a peaceful place. When someone stops you amid an important task, remind yourself that “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us (John, Prologue.)” Try to see Him in that person who needs your time, attention and listening heart. Here’s one more. Lots of wrapping to do? As you wrap each gift, ask GOD to bless and heal the person it will go to. If these suggestions don’t help, ask GOD to help you hold the spirit of Advent in your heart – the hope, the joy, the promise. It’s been my experience that when I ask for help, I get it. May these two remaining weeks be a blessing…and may your Advent waiting yield abundant joy when Christmas REALLY comes.

Blessings and love to you all…
- Sister Vicki