Thursday, December 4, 2008

Life as Advent. A Benedictine oblate blog

[Click picture to enlarge]

My wife and I are new to the Catholic church and we are one-year-old oblates at a Benedictine monastery in Florida.

Advent is a new, important time for us. What exactly is happening with Advent? We are just beginning to understand its depth and scope.

But Advent did not take us by surprise this year because we were alert enough to grasp that in November we were coming to the end of the liturgical year (my blog on the subject) and the beginning of a new one (no more waiting for a dropping crystal ball).

When we were on our retreat last month at the abbey we bought a tall candle. We also bought a $1.00 little sheet giving suggested Bible readings during Advent. My wife suggested that we light the candle and read the story of Jesus’ birth, read the suggested verses from the little Advent sheet, and then have a meditation in silence.

Each day in the evening, we read the appropriate passages from the Bible after lighting our tall candle. My wife also reads a section or two from the Catechism. She discovered that the Catechism has a large amount of material on Advent — who knew?

After the readings are finished we pray and meditate in silence.

That’s our new Advent practice. We like it.

In my study times, I have been learning more about Advent. The most interesting thought I came across today is that we might see our whole lives on earth as an Advent to eternal life with Christ. The passing from our darkness into his light.

Maybe that idea had extra meaning to me because of this wonderful quote on Plain Catholic’s blog:

“Death is not extinguishing the light. It is putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.” Tagore



From the APOTD, November 30, 2008 (also the start of Advent this year).

Apollo 15, launched July 26, 1971. David Scott looks at a large moon rock. The top of the 11,000-foot Mt. Hadley Delta is ahead of him.



  1. Getting in the word daily is one of the greatest strengtheners in my walk with christ. Nothing is more comforting than when God speaks to me through it.

  2. You are correct and it does not matter what our age — it is still the strength from his word that counts.

    I liked this part of your blog profile, “But basically I'm just a kid trying to keep in touch with Jesus and stay in tune with Gods plan.” Amen!

    For those in God’s plan, age never matters either — as I am sure you know!

  3. john, you may want to have a look at the book, to dance with god by gertrud mueller nelson. i think it's generally geared toward families with younger children, and not being sure what your children/grandchildren situation is, i don't know if you would find it helpful or not, but i really think it can be used by families of all ages and sizes. it has wonderful ideas for ways of marking out the various seasons of the church year.

    i like your candle/reading idea, which made me think of advent wreaths, which made me think of this book. i think nelson is catholic, but if not she is definitely from one of the liturgical traditions, so i think this book might be a good fit for you and your wife as you explore your new place in christianity.

    at any rate, if you follow the link, the book at amazon has the "look inside" feature, so you can kind of "flip" through it and see if it would be of any use to you.



  4. Amy,

    Thank you. The book looks great and we are going to order it! Thank you for the suggestion.

    We have a 17-month-old grandchild -- about as old as we are in the Catholic Church.