First Sunday of Advent. First day of the liturgical year. I like that there are so many days to make fresh starts. Of course, one can make a fresh start any day, but there’s something in my soul that seems to like “official” first days.
It has been so long since I posted. Well over a year, although it seems even longer than that. The time before I went to Kelowna to take care of Mom seems a bit unreal. The time I spent in Kelowna taking care of Mom also seems a bit unreal. The fact that Mom is gone is never-endingly unreal.
I have spent the last five months trying to get back to “normal”, but of course normal is entirely subjective and continually subject to change. Whatever is happening right now is normal, I suppose.
Last night Warren and I watched Of Gods and Men, which was both profoundly beautiful and deeply sad. To watch these men, caught up in a terrible situation, struggle with what it means to be faithful … it was a very good thing to watch on the eve of Advent. We have very little control over our lives, regardless of what we may think. That is something that was driven home to me over and over in the last year and a half. We cannot even control our own emotions. Only our actions are up to us, in the end. We can choose to be faithful in the worst circumstances. We can keep doing the things we are called to do even though every part of us wants to run and run and run away from it all.
A few days ago, a woman who is part of my Facebook homeschool group lost her husband suddenly in a freak accident. He was 44 years old. They have five children. The eldest girl found her father after the accident. Tragedies like this occur every day. Not just in Syria. Not just in Paris. Everywhere. Every. Single. Day. Somebody’s heart is broken. Somebody’s life is shattered. Sometimes you can blame somebody. Sometimes you can’t. Regardless, somebody has to pick up the pieces and find a way to move forward.
I am so grateful. I am so profoundly grateful for all the blessings in my life. And right now, so aware that these things can be gone in an instant. My human weakness is to clutch and cling to everything that brings me happiness, and mourn even its potential loss. But everything of this earth will be lost, if not tomorrow, then eventually.
So. It is Advent. And for once, I am ready for it. Both in the superficial sense (Advent Wreath, Advent Calendar, Jesse Tree, Advent Reflection Book!) but also in the spiritual and mental sense. My heart is ready, Oh God, my heart is ready.
The Christmas Anticipation Prayer, also known as the St Andrew Novena, starts November 30. It is to be said 15 times each day until Christmas.