Monday, December 13, 2010

Brian’s Reflection: Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The supreme trick of Old Scratch is to have us so busy decorating,
preparing food, practicing music and cleaning in preparation for the
feast of Christmas that we actually miss the coming of Christ. Hurt
feelings, anger, impatience, injured egos—the list of clouds that
busyness creates to blind us to the birth can be long, but it is familiar to us all.

Edward Hayes, “A Pilgrim’s Almanac”

“Old Scratch”. Ah yes. That personified subtle, seemingly eminently rational whisperer that fills our heads with doubts and uncertainties and delusions and fears, “hurt feelings, anger, impatience, injured egos”. With so many things – clouds – distracting us from “birth”.

Becoming fully human, – and when I talk of this, I don’t mean achieving some kind of “perfection”, some kind of super-humanity – taking even the first steps, disturbs whatever it is in us and around us which opposes Goodness, Kindness, Compassion. It is one of the great Mysteries of Life that such an opposition exists in our nature ….. at least it is to me. Yet when I place the moments in my Life when I have chosen Goodness over the (many) times I have turned away from Goodness, I know when I have felt most at Peace, most Myself.

Advent-time – Waiting Time, Longing Time, Searching Time – opens up in our days, inviting us to put aside the clouds of busyness and to be “born” in heart and spirit, to become fully embodied. One can go a long time enveloped in fog; Nicodemus knew that when Jesus gently chastised him for his honoured wisdom in the community but his inner lack of understanding.

No day should pass in our earthly pilgrimage without “the birth”. Somewhere within that birth is “familiar to us all”. It whispers to us eternally, and it is that whisper we are training to hear.


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