An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Speak to Me (Advent) Sunday: Readiness in Memory and Hope

Yesterday I ordered my 2019 Erin Condren planner. It’s a beautiful planner; on the cover is a row of birch trees, and the autumn yellow leaves add a nice pop of color against the solid background.  There are pages with quotes and blank spaces to write down goals. Most importantly, 365 empty squares are lined up like stepping stones going forth into a year of tomorrows. 

In big ways and in small, each of those stepping stones will lead me on a journey propelled by Time which marches forward in seconds, minutes, days and years.  With every breath, with every step, with every thought or action or prayer, I am on a journey.
We are all on a journey.
Sometimes the journey is planned and carefully mapped out, but other times it yanks and pulls and drags us where we do not want to go -- through illness, incarceration or grief as we recognize what without understanding why. Sometimes the journey can be a battle with inner demons of self-doubt, alcoholism, or drugs. Sometimes it calls us to foreign lands, a new career path, marriage, or a religious vocation. Oftentimes the journey is exciting and adventurous, but just as often it’s a whirlwind of ordinary with carpool, dinner, laundry, work, and children.
I turned the pages of my brand new planner, and as I filled in the squares with birthdays and anniversaries and family trips, I saw all the empty squares more as stepping stones of hope rather than blank squares of the unknown. I then looked at my old planner, at the squares of yesterdays which were once tomorrows, and saw stepping stones of memory.
Tonight, we will light a candle to mark Advent’s passage, and I am grateful for this season with its gift of time to both recognize the journey and reflect on it -- to gather and learn and step forward in readiness. In his book, Seek that Which is Above, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) describes Advent as a connection between memory and hope; that is, the healing memory of the God who became a child, and the hope that memory brings.
Memory. Hope. A readiness to journey onward.

1 comment:

Gigi said...

What a beautiful post! I love the way you described the calendar boxes as stepping stones. Have a great week.