When I first scheduled a MissguidedMom retreat at the Immaculate Heart Community Center for Spiritual Renewal in Montecito, California I didn’t give much thought to the time—Thanksgiving weekend. How blessed I am to give thanks for all the gifts God has shown me and to celebrate the Advent among other women and a community whose desire to serve God is well demonstrated. This year is the first time I have discovered the meaning of Advent. Not once in my childhood or young adult life did I give much importance to this treasured time. Today, I will teach it to my sons so they may wait with great anticipation for the birth of Jesus Christ, when he appears in the manger to bring hope.
In my contemplation I have received hope, faith, and trust. Hope is the thread that is in me while I walk this journey with God. Through faith God will provide for all my needs and desires of the heart. Trust that God’s plans will unfold on his time. These three gifts I pass on to you during this time and all year long.
May the waiting of Jesus Christ be a contemplative journey of hope, faith, and trust in God’s will to be served in years to come.
Happy Advent, Eve!
A time of waiting, a time of longing, and a time of great hope is here again. The world is waiting to see a great light, to experience great peace, and encounter great love. This happens year after year so that we may remember the beauty of longing and expectation. Your gifts of hope, faith, and trust are priceless and thank you for sharing.
As you know, our hope in God alone comes from our great faith and trust in him. We know he is the only one to illuminate our darkness, turn our tears into dancing, and transform our sadness into joy. As Isiah 9:1-2 says:
“The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
Upon those who lived in a land of gloom
a light has shone.
You have brought them abundant joy
and great rejoicing.”
How much do we all need this? Yes, even angels need to hear this so we can renew our hope and strength. If you only focus on the events that have happened this year in the world, hope, faith, and trust seem to have disappeared. It is time to pause and wait on the Lord and I will wait with you.
But how does this waiting bring about more hope, faith, and trust? Eve, when you stop and be still, feeling your longing and expectation for something in your life, you enter into possibilities. You begin to imagine and dream again. This time creates a sacred space where a light begins to breakthrough any darkness and radiate hope. You are able to look into this space from the outside world that may be cold and harsh. When you do this, you find in any difficult time, hope, faith, and trust are buried in your heart and soul. Being still helps you surrender to God’s time and discover these gifts once again.
However, there is a secret in this time of waiting and this time of longing. We believe we are the only ones hoping, trusting, and having faith. There is something more incredible happening. If you begin to enter this time of possibilities, you will realize that you are uniting in God’s great longing for you. He is the one hoping you will stop and allow him into your daily life. He is the one with great faith that you will rely on him as your God. He is the one who is trusting that you will participate in his will to bring light, love, and joy into the world so he can touch others through you. He is the one waiting on you. This is a perfect place to end with a poem titled: “For Longing” by John O’Donohue. Enjoy and happy longing.
Blessed be the longing that brought you here
And quickens your soul with wonder.
May you have the courage to listen to the voice of desire
That disturbs you when you have settled for something safe.
May you have the wisdom to enter generously into your own unease
To discover the new direction your longing wants you to take.
May the forms of your belonging–in love, creativity, and friendship–
Be equal to the grandeur and the call of your soul.
May the one you long for long for you.
May your dreams gradually reveal the destination of your desire.
May a secret Providence guide your thought and nurture your feeling.
May your mind inhabit your life with the sureness with which
your body inhabits the world.
May your heart never be haunted by ghost-structures of old damage.
May you come to accept your longing as divine urgency.
May you know the urgency with which God longs for you.