Therefore, keep awake– for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake. (Mark 13:36,37 NRSV).
My readers can look forward to daily Advent reflections here. The constant theme that I will be writing about is watching and waiting.
We live in the age of mass instant gratification. In many States you don’t even have to go in person to renew the registration and/or tabs on the license plate of your car. Just look up your local registry of motor vehicles on the internet, click, pay and they will arrive in the mail in no time. Combine the speed by which we can get just about anything we want with life itself being faster than ever; and waiting is more old fashioned than ever.
There is a saying that goes: “Good things come to those who wait.” That is why this Season of Advent is such a fantastic time for contemplative prayer. Contemplative prayer does not come because we press a button and it appears. Contemplation comes because at a moment of God’s choosing, God infuses the waiting soul with that which cannot be seen, touched or smelled; but is very real and beautiful. The soul knows that God is so present that the only thing missing is a way to describe it accurately. One does not have to have her/his life in order. Nor do we have to have some theological mystery figured out. All we need is a heart that is quiet enough, a desire for God in the emptiness of ourselves and there God will be. The darkness becomes light. Despair gives way to hope. Everything that has been suddenly becomes insignificant. All that matters is God.
In our watching and waiting this Advent, let us seek union with God as our only reason for living and breathing. May we know the presence of the Lord with every fiber of our being; even if we don’t know why it is that our being experiences the reality of God’s mysterious existence. All we have to do is watch and wait in faith, and God will be there before we know God is there.
Br. Anselm Philip King-Lowe, n/OSB