Thursday, December 24, 2009

Advent & Christmas set in time. A Benedictine oblate blog

Night Sky

[Click picture to enlarge]

What is the setting of Advent and Christmas in a monastery? Virtually every element in the way loving and joyous Christians celebrate Advent and Christmas in the wider community can be found in a monastery — the music, decorations, gifts, guests, and special food, for example. But the setting and context of the Advent and Christmas seasons are different when I visit a monastery. So, I am not talking about the individual elements of these two seasons, but their backdrop — the background scene on which those elements are projected and revealed.

Advent and Christmas in a monastery feel like they are set in time. These first parts of the new liturgical year move across a background of time. Like stars at night, Advent and Christmas stand out vividly — moving with sense of fixed, ancient precision.

Few things draw the human spirit into the search for what’s beyond ourselves like watching the night sky. A visit to a monastery during Advent and the Christmas season is a way of looking up.
“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army, praising God, and saying:
Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace to men of good will.” Luke 2:13-14
Merry Christmas.



Picture is The big Sky by the Ocean by spatulated and is used subject to license.


  1. Another test.  I thinks this working now!

  2. Hi John:  You wrote about Christmas in a monastery as "moving with sense of fixed, ancient precision."  You exactly described my sense of this experience, with words I never would have thought of using.   You write so beautifully. 

    A belated Merry Christmas to you!