Sunday, December 20, 2020

Advent is Truly a Miraculous Adventure

As 2020 draws to a close, we reflect on a year that was for most of us mixed with unexpected blessings and unexpected sorrows. Perhaps both are necessary to prepare us both for our eternal home and a deeper joy in this life.

This Advent is unique for me..I journeyed with the Magnificat Companion. And actually I had not intended on it. I originally ordered it for a friend and that manufacturer said it could be past Nov. 29 before it was delivered.  So I tried to cancel the order and in the meantime picked up a copy at a local religious bookstore and mailed it to my friend. Ironically, the other copy came as well and I asked him to drop off the extra copy in my box. I received it just in time to start on Nov. 29.

And what an adventure it has been...from unexpected meetings to unexpected phone calls. And in the process, layer's being removed and fears discovered. For me..the most surprising thing is how much of an undercurrent fear plays in my action and inaction. Certainly love has also motivated me but I just did not realize that fear was so strong. I guess the quiet allows each of us to reflect...if we take the opportunity to do so.

I will start with the beginning and then my own personal discoveries.  Oftentimes, what appears as one thing is often another thing nuanced. For example the story about Adam and Eve.  Aside from the serpent's deception and guile, I would like to look at Adam and Eves response.  Certainly disobedience was there but it was also FOMO perhaps. Fear of missing out. If this fruit opened eyes and provided wisdom and one could be like God knowing both good and evil...then if they don't eat it they will stay ignorant. Certainly they knew God and what he had said and enjoyed but what if there was something more? They would have consulted God with this dilemma first. They had no reason to doubt his goodness..yet FOMO won the day.

Then their eyes were opened and when they heard the Lord they hid out of fear. Then they feared taking responsibility and feared God and started to cast blame around. Fear prompts a whole host of behaviors and thoughts that are sinful..but the genesis may always be fear. Certainly fear is good in some instances as an alert..but if our response generally speaking is love then we are never filled with angst or fear. No matter what the consequences are.

So now to the personal. I would venture to say that most people on a superficial level think I am a fairly courageous woman. And to some degree I do believe I have been blessed with this gift thru temperament and circumstance. 

However, what appears as courage sometimes...not all the time of under laden with fear. When I am doing something that I believe is Gods will then it is much easier to be courageous. But when the motivation turns to my own needs as the primary focus...well for sure that can be fear.

I tend to be fairly proactive with friends but sometimes it is to be in control of how much company I have. I fear the silence sometimes. I fear finding out what happens if I don't do this. Thankfully, Covid has afforded the luxury of more submissiveness and humility. Probably traits that need a bit more attention in my temperament. 

I also tend to use my reasoning and detachment as means of protecting myself. I fear rejection and I fear being taken advantage of..I fear caring deeply and hurting deeply. But alas..this where this Advent is a huge blessing. The adventure has led me outside my comfort zone of control and fear..trusting God and letting him lead but doing so with trepidation at times. But there are many moments and in particular now...that I feel this sense of hope and joy that makes it easier to be open to God and his love and then in turn be loving in my actions.

Reading the Magnificat Companion, the book given out by my Parish named the Hidden Power of Kindness and praying and also praying the rosary  have been a huge blessing for me. Having faith and letting time and Grace happen is also a huge blessing.  The reward is that this adventure has led me to a deeper peace, a deeper joy and a deeper love.

And that is more than I have dared hope for in Advents past.  Christmas is coming....are you ready? Are you ready for transformative miracles? No matter what the outcome of the days are whether joyful, sorrowful or a mixture of both..we always have the choice to say no to fear and yes to love. May the serenity that surpasses our understanding bless you during these last few days of Advent and give you the deepest joy in opening your heart to remembering the miracle of God becoming the form of baby Jesus. 

Advent is a truly a miraculous adventure.


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