Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Weekly Q&A, Joy from the Pope, and Welcome!

Last things first. Welcome, new bog follower Alan Neskar.

If you don't have spiritual reading planned yet for advent, I suggest a slow, take-your-time reading of Pope Francis' new Apostolic Exhoration, Evangelii Gaudium.   I've only read the first chapter so far, but it's touched me deeply. Many other writers have recommended that we set aside our personal "hobby horse" before reading it. That is, don't just read it in a feverish search for your Important Issue to be addressed (pro-life, liturgy, social justice, women's roles, etc.), but instead read it with an open heart, attentive to hear what you need to hear, eager to learn something new, or be reminded of what you might have  forgotten.

Funny how a psalm verse that you've read (yet not seen) a million times will suddenly pop out at you. Mine today was verse 8 of Psalm 39: And now, Lord, what is there is there to wait for? Was, given what preceeded it, a not exactly despairing question, but a world-weary one.  But then the follow up: In You rests all my hope, was like a tiny flame lit in the pre-dawn grayness. And my next thought--Advent is upon us, and will teach us exactly what we have waited for, and are waiting for.

Then,, that reading in the OOR from St. Macarius, with the grim analogies of what life without Jesus is like and the more hopeful analogy of our souls being tilled like a wilderness patch turned into a garden. Loved it. This is the only time Maracarius turns up in the Office of Readings. I wasn't surprised to learn that Macarius was a dessert hermit. You can see how well he knows that barren places that he describes here.

Okay. It's Thanksgiving Eve,and I"m cooking for twelve tomorrow. And figuring out where to put six guests at night. Gotta run. But thanks be to God for all his good gifts, including all of my Coffee&Canticles friends who share with me a love of His great gift of scriptural, liturgical prayer.