Thursday, December 07, 2006

Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his path.
Luke 3:4b

Happy Advent, everyone! Aw, yes. It's that time again. Time to await... and to prepare for the coming of Christ ~ Prince of Peace.

Now, I'm not sure about anyone else out there, but I get really bothered with commercialism at this time each year. Did anyone else experience Santa, red & green or Christmas sales before Nov. 1?! Yep... sometimes I just want to say, "Let me have Advent!"

I just wanted to get that out before moving on...

During this season of waiting in joyful hope, I turn my thoughts to Mary... and preparing the way. Yes, I know that typically people associate the above quote with John the Baptist. And rightly so. However, this year I'm a little more focused on Mary.

Tomorrow we celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception - the patronal feast of the Marianist Sisters (since we are the Daughters of Mary Immaculate). This feast celebrates how the path for Christ was prepared from Mary's very conception. This Immaculate vessel would come to bare the Savior. That's an amazing realization when you really think it through.

Further preparations were made with Mary's, "I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me according to your word." Because of that yes, and no doubt helped by the way Mary raised Jesus in their faith, we are brought into this mission of preparing the way.

Yep, now it's our mission. "Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his path." That's our call. I see it as mine, anyway. But what does that mean, really. For me, it means two things...

1) On a personal level, it means to prepare a place within where Christ will be comfortable dwelling. I ask myself, "Is my heart fertile ground to cultivate the life of Christ?" If I have trouble answering that question (which sometimes I do), then there's is work to be done. Of course, there is always interior work to be done. Mary was the Immaculate one, not I. However, sometimes I am more aware than at other times. For me, Advent is a time to be constantly aware.

2) On a communal level, what can I do to bring about Christ's presence in the world and to those with whom I come in contact. That's also a part of my prayer this season. What is my call in this world? A world plagued by religious indifference, the pain of broken promises, the anesthesia of consumerism, and the exploitation of the gift of one's body. Well, I can start by allowing the Spirit to help me with the first issue - preparing a place within. Because if Christ isn't within, I can't do a thing to bring Christ to the world.

Those are my thoughts as we enter more fully into this Advent season.

On a different note... I'm sorry for the late post. Since I am traveling this Advent it's really difficult to stick to the Sunday posting schedule. Also, I will be on a silent retreat at a Trappist monestary during the 3rd week of Advent. So, chances are I will post next week and then during Christmas week.

Many blessings on you all this Advent!

Sr. Nicole