ADVENT – This Present Time in History

i Dec 21st 2 Comments by

Advent means “coming”.  For many, this poignant time of waiting and expectation has disolved into a frantic rush.  This video, made a few years ago at Grailville, Loveland, Ohio, during its crèche exhibition, expresses a lot about how I feel about this precious season.

Alas, these days I also participate, more than I would like, in the madness of  the Christmas commercial season, while still trying to stay in touch with the magnificent readings from Isaiah and sense of quiet expectation and reasonable preparation. This is what the Advent season is meant to help us live.

Liturgically, Advent is a special season to prepare our hearts for the fuller coming of the divine into the earth, in “history, mystery and Majesty”. The Incarnation, enfleshing of God is a critical new step.  The readings in our Catholic liturgy for each day, and some fabulous meditations put out by Pax Christi USA, tying this time with the works needed for a just and peaceful world, have helped keep much of this in front of me. As I bustle around, the mystery of “not-yetness”, “pregnancy” and “expectation” of a time when “peace and justice embrace” is still there to the extent I open myself.

I also live in the northern hemisphere where the natural world also celebrates the end of our annual increase of darkness and light begins to grow again. In 2014 the winter solstice is on December 21, 6:03 P.M.  if you are in Eastern standard Time. The Christmas date was chosen in Rome as the liturgical year was developed because of the belief, that Jesus is the cosmic Christ, and light of the world. Therefore it seemed appropriate to celebrate his birth in flesh along with the ancient celebration of the new cycle of growing  light.

I had the privilege, rare for a young woman outside a convent, to have lived intensely the deep mystery of Advent darkness and longing, in quiet, song, manual work and prayer, while waiting for the natural light to begin to grow again. At Christmas we would then begin this annual celebration of the growing of the light celebrating more and more fully until Epiphany (the manifestation of divinity). That’s what those 12 Days of Christmas are all about, an increasing celebration of the wedding of God with creation and our very flesh.


Thank you David Miller and Loveland Magazine for your kind permission to use this video. You can watch the original on their link as well as here. © 2012.

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  1. Theresa
    June 11, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    ‘ Hope for the Flowers’ is a God given gift , and has been for those of us who were fortunate enough to have known Trina Paulus in the Grail, and since coming to the United States of America in 1981
    I have been privileged to have read and taught classes of gifted International Students in a Community College English as a second language, using the text. It has been a pleasure reading the book in French and Spanish as well I believe, as in German! It was exciting when a Grail member from Tanzania came to the United States and the we were informed that the Swahili translation was to be embarked on…It has been both phenomenal and exhilarating…It is sad that because of other commitments in life, some of us have not been able to have devoted more time and energy to the developmental stages of what has been “Hope for the Flowers” and the myriad developmental parts and angles to this genius of a book…handled solo , for the most part, by the Author herself.

    Through it all however, I thank God for Trina Paulus and for her life and achievements. I thank God for her faith. I am grateful to have known her as an authentic Grail woman in spirit and in truth. The garuba family members in the USA love and cherish Trina dearly and I believe that she knows this, Thank you,

  2. Dedicated server
    April 7, 2016 at 1:00 am

    Hope is a vision for better days ahead. But hope doesn’t just give us a future vision; it also transforms us in the present. At Advent, we are invited into a journey of real and lasting hope—a hope in Jesus Christ.


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