Preparing for the Silent Night (Conclusion)


Okay, I'm loving The Reed of God by Caryll Houselander so much that I have to give you one more quote for this Advent season. Only Our Lady has ever lived all the aspects of phases and moments of Christ completely. In some He is newly born. In some He is a child. In some He is homeless. In some He is ignored, unrecognized, mocked, betrayed. In some He is hungry; in some He is naked; in some He is helpless... He remains, being tempted in all those who are tempted: in those who are in … [Read more...]

Preparing for the Silent Night (Part Two)

Caryll Houselander

This is the second of a series of Advent reflections. To read the first part, follow this link: Preparing for the Silent Night (Part One).In part one of this series we considered the following quotation from The Reed of God by Caryll Houselander. Because He is in the little house of our being, we will learn to control our minds, to gather our thoughts to silence, and to crown them with peace, just as we learn to control our voices and to move softly when a child is asleep in the house of b … [Read more...]

Preparing for the Silent Night (Part One)


My Advent reading for this year is The Reed of God by Caryll Houselander. A twentieth century Catholic mystic, Houselander lived from 1901 until dying from breast cancer in 1954. She wrote several books, but The Reed of God is her most enduring work; published in 1944, it explores themes of waiting, pregnancy, seeking and beauty in regard to Mary’s relationship to Christ. Insightful and earthy, it transcends the theological horizons of its time and has come to be regarded as a twentieth century s … [Read more...]

The Road Goes Ever On and On

"The Road Goes Ever On and On," or so sings Bilbo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings.Merry Christmas, everyone. Advent is over. And as is typical for someone working in retail — even monastic retail (!) — for me it was a blur. It was a time of stolen moments of rest and reflection, rather than a truly immersed season of waiting. I leave Advent 2009 behind, still waiting, still waiting for the day, most likely after I retire, when the demands of my work will not compete with the call of the lit … [Read more...]

The Advent Conspiracy

This makes so much sense on so many levels...Advent is the great lost season of the liturgical year, lost in a swirl of concerts, parties, and yes, shopping. And I'm as caught up in it as anybody. But it is meant to be a time for contemplation — for "waiting" on the coming of the Lord!So join the Advent Conspiracy — if your entire church isn't involved, you can still be a "lone conspirator." Slow down. Pray. Be mindful of how you spend your time in this holy season. And give just a few les … [Read more...]

Christmas Every Day, Easter Every Day

When I was a teenager I used to attend the Fisherman's House charismatic prayer and praise meeting in Hampton, VA. This was a non-denominational, neo-pentecostal Christian youth group, evangelical in its theology. On the meeting just before Christmas, the leader of the group commented that "we don't particularly observe Christmas, because any day can be the day when Christ is born in someone's heart."That observation has always stuck with me. And even though I love the liturgical year and am … [Read more...]

The Foundation

Yesterday at the Lay-Cistercian gathering day, Father Anthony DeLisi preached a wonderful sermon for the First Sunday of Advent. We were in the crypt chapel at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit — if you've ever been in the crypt, you'll have seen the massive concrete pillars that hold up the beautiful, soaring, neo-Romanesque Abbey Church above.Fr. Anthony compared the season of advent to the foundation of a building. He talked about how, when he arrived at the monastery almost fifty years a … [Read more...]