The Task of Advent

by The Rev. Br. Richard Edward Helmer, BSG

From the December Perspective,
the newsletter of Church of Our Saviour:

Mary's witness in response to an angel's revelation that she will bear the Christ is among the pithiest descriptions of the spiritual task of Advent. As Bernard of Clairvaux, an eleventh century Benedictine mystic puts it, "Mary replies. . . with humility, that the dwelling of grace may be prepared."

Our work in Advent is simple yet profound: to take up the humility needed to prepare our hearts and homes to receive the grace of God. To our busy Southern Marin ears, this may sound far too passive, but it is, in fact, a spiritual activity that demands great attention. Maybe this is why we are warned by the the prophetic voices in our scriptures to be alert, to keep awake, to keep the lamps burning, and shy we fuss a bit at this darkest time of year over lighting candles and praying into the night.


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