Though I am still reading Chogyam Trungpa's Shambhala and Elizabeth Lesser's The Seekers' Guide, I've been realizing for the last few days that I'm hungering for something else, and I've even been toying with the idea of just reading the lectionary passages for the day.
And as I struggled to stay centered in meditation this morning, I realized that it was last year about this time that I made a decision to stop doing these meditations for the Season of Advent; to just post images and a brief Bible passage for each day.
I shouldn't be surprised: I remember noticing back in the 90's, when I was editing our diocesan paper, that each issue seemed to have its own theme without my ever imposing one, and that those themes seemed to naturally evolve with the liturgical seasons.
What I've been sensing these last few mornings is really an annual occurrence: the stirrings of longing for Christ to be born yet again in me -- which is, of course, what Advent is all about; it's that hunger, and that waiting, and that stillness within us that prepares our souls to realize anew the presence of Christ within us. So I went looking through all those images I brought back from our trip to Italy last year, looking for a picture of the Jesus I'm hungering for.
And the one I found I wanted wasn't the crucified Jesus, the one displayed in most of those Catholic churches we visited. What I wanted was this Jesus, the Jesus who lights our way, who -- though the cross surely looms in the picture -- is more about holding us tenderly in the heart of divine love. This is the longing we feel as we march steadily forward into this season of hibernation, hope and rebirth, and this is the stillness and lethargy that slows our limbs, that helps us realize yet again that our fuel is running low and the time has come to await, invite, and welcome that which truly feeds us and lights our way.
It's really a hunger for that Light. And now that I say that I can see that it was the light that I so appreciated in Kay Walsh's wonderful images at our gallery last night. I particularly noticed that light because I had spent some time earlier this week creating a video accompaniment to "Come Harvest Time" (I had been reminded of the song by one of my posts a week or so ago) and as I went through my files looking for pictures to put to the video (which you can now find here), I was looking for pictures with that same inner light Kay's work has -- and there were all too few that had it (another reminder that I need to do some ruthless purging of my photo files.)
As our days darken, we begin once again to hunger for the light. Not just any light, but the Light of Christ, that divine spark that feeds us and makes us whole so that we can carry it out to feed the World. It's not that it's not always there; it's just that it's burning low and needs to be awakened and reborn in us.
Hmm. I guess Advent is blooming early for me this year. I will press on, but I'm thinking that when it officially arrives I will again pull back from my writing and allow the Bible to speak for itself for a bit.
It's all good.