To you Lord I lift up my soul; my God I have put my trust in you; you are God my Saviour; for you have I waited all day long (Psalm 25:1,4 The New Zealand Prayer Book, p. 568).
One of the many themes of the Season of Advent is “waiting.”
Waiting is a lost art in our “get it right now” society.
Just press an icon on our iPhone (or Smart Phone) and we can make a call, check a text, play a game or find out how far Paris, France is from where we are standing. I grew up in the age of having to own a telephone, a phone book, waiting for several days, maybe a week for a piece of mail and needing to know how to read a map. Is it any wonder that we are society growing more impatient everyday?
The Advent themes of watching and waiting is best described in the Daily Office of Vigils. Also known in The Rule of Saint Benedict as the “Night Office.” After Compline (Night Prayer) the Monks slept until they were woken about 2am for the Night Office of Vigils. The purpose of the Office was and still is to be watchful for the coming of Christ at any hour of the day or night. In the Second Letter of St. Peter chapter 3 vs. 10 we read, “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.” In the Gospel of Matthew chapter 24:44 Jesus said “Therefore, you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.” The Monks rise to lift up there souls to God in the singing of the Psalms that they may put their trust in God and be ready to receive the Holy One they are waiting for.
God invites us in this Season of Advent to lift up our souls to God, to trust God as our Savior. It is God’s grace reaching out for us from God’s perspective to seek union with God wherever we are, whatever we are doing. Whether we are praying, working, relating, helping, or being quiet; God is searching for union with us in that moment.
How are you lifting up your soul to God; to trust in God for Whom you are waiting?
Brother Anselm Philip King-Lowe, OSB