Gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.
~ GK Chesterton

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Second Sunday of Advent

“To advance in the practice of the presence of God we should let go of all our cares, including a multitude of private devotions, good in themselves but often carried out for the wrong reasons, for those devotions are nothing more than the means to arrive at the end.” Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection

The first week of Advent passed, for me, very much in the spirit of the Brother Lawrence quote I shared last Sunday. In being mindful that my Advent devotions are only the means to the End, I have been able to sit with prayers and reflections as if they are dear friends to linger with.

Which feels like an improvement over previous Advents spent earnestly begging God to help me know “what I should get out of” Advent. (Spiritual growth is so much more than a self-help improvement project.)

Looking back over the week, I see that the change in my attitude has spilled over to my mothering. I am able to approach the various activities of the season with a more relaxed frame of mind. We are engaging in activities (gingerbread houses, municipal tree lightings, Advent countdowns) because they are ways to color and flavor life, not because I-simply-must-expose-my-children-to-all-these-things-so-they-might-have-the-most-enriching-lives-ever. (Oy vey . . . yes . . . I can be that intense.)

So, life rolls on: the ordinary demands, with Advent-themed activities added in. And yet, there has been time for taking things slowly. This quiet has come about in an unexpected way. Several of us feel as if we are on the verge of wintertime colds. While this is not a welcome development, at least it has forced us to slow down. To choose to sit and read aloud, rather than be off doing something. That is a good thing. As an easily distracted person, it is good to learn to linger.

No new quotation for the Second Sunday of Advent. Rather, I am continuing to delight in the same Brother Lawrence quote going into this second week.

“To advance in the practice of the presence of God we should let go of all our cares, including a multitude of private devotions, good in themselves but often carried out for the wrong reasons, for those devotions are nothing more than the means to arrive at the end.” Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection


2 comments:

  1. Love that quote. I actually have given up novenas for advent because I was using them for exactly that...a means to an end. Trying to use advent as a time to recharge and just focus on prayers of gratitude. Advent blessings to you!

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    1. I'm glad you shared this. Nice to know I'm not alone!

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