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Monday, November 30, 2009

Virtual Advent Retreat 2009

A meditation on the readings for Advent 2C offered by Mompriest:

Entering the Advent journey is an invitation to travel, intentionally, into the wilderness – the dark night of the soul. One hopes that the Church guides this journey offering opportunities to pray, ponder, stirred up, conflicted. John, the desert prophet, proclaims the burning chaff, the background to our Christmas shopping. Advent sings of incongruous images - new birth and end of life, the Alpha and the Omega, of oppression and freedom, of despair and ultimately of hope. The path is uneven and twisted, spiraling in to the depths of our being, certain we are lost. And then, quietly, the Spirit of God calls to us, “Awake, arise, my love, my dear one.” The early morning desert sun illuminates the way - through the valley to Jordan’s bank - our God is near. Awake and hearken, let each heart prepare a place for the Word to break in, a child to come anew, whispering peace into you and me. Come, our long expected One, come.

Within in our darkest night
A starless chill
Calling, “Emmanuel
Oh where, are you?”

Within our deepest soul
Astounding one
Cries in the wilderness
the way of the Lord!”

Within our darkest night
A still small spark
Hark! The glad sound calls out
Awake!” Jerusalem

Rise up and give walk in light
from darkest night -
Our Daystar comes, the night

Dispelled, every valley filled,
mountain low, the rough made
A light, a light bathes bright

Discard the garment, sorrow
Arise! Put on the robe
with love and mercy

Questions to ponder:

John Newton, the author of Amazing Grace, describes our spiritual journey as a process of moving from desire for God, to conflict with God, to contemplation and peace with God. (Go here for more on this idea.) Many consider this process to be a spiral not linear. Based on these three "states" where are you in your faith journey?

Does the mystery of Advent invite you into deeper reflection on your relationship with God?

Do you have a meditation of your own you'd like to share with us today?

Do you have an Advent resources you'd like share?

Leave comments or link us back to your blog and join us in this virtual retreat!

You can find the readings for Advent 2C: here
Photos from the personal collection of Mompriest

Additional meditations will appear throughout the day by Songbird and Juniper.

Crossposted at Mompriest's blog: Seeking Authentic Voice


  1. I don't have time to respond right now, but I've posted this on my Advent blog which I hope is here.

    Thank you for a stunning beginning, Mompriest.

  2. I am focusing on the bright Hope within... here...

  3. Brilliant - thanks Mompriest!

  4. OK, for the time being I have settled on a nebula - not a line, a spiral, or a house (another suggestion). See the link in my comment above.

  5. mompriest, I resonate with the spiral, but I must admit I wish I would arrive somewhere!
    This particular Advent feels out-of-sorts to me, in part because I'm in a new setting and not the person guiding the message for the season. It's a transition year in many ways, a year where I have a sense of what I'm hoping for, but no real idea where I will debark.

  6. two men in the church were i'm interim stood at the back talking of how christmas time was tough for them. losses remembered, disappointed hopes, memories of ...
    both almost began to cry.
    there is the time for thinking and the time for pausing and breathing
    but we don't often do so
    we'd rather be busy...
    and busy can be a 4 letter word

  7. mompriest, I'm still reading Terry Tempest Williams and just came upon this quote:

    We've got to go underground therefore, like seed, so that something new something different, may come forth. It isn't time that's required it's a new way of looking at things.

    Night-season. I think that is a lovely phrase.

    That's Advent, isn't it?

  8. I've been looking forward to this. Thank you! Here's my beginning

  9. SB - I remember that phrase from TTW and love it too. Yes.

  10. mompriest, here are some further thoughts after reading your reflection: "Lit, Not Decorated."

  11. Bobbie, I can relate. Good for you for being there for them....

    Songbird, headed over to read yours - I think I can relate to that too...

  12. each of these retreat sessions contains enough material for the entire advent season--absolutely wonderful! Some of my considerations about advent retreat session 1

  13. I've been free-associating while reading the Daily Office lessons, and noting when something resonates with me as someone living where I do. I've started posting these admittedly un-crafted thoughts on my blog,


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