What do egg tempera painting supplies and the Advent have to do with each other. Nothing, really, it was just that time of year, the coming of Advent and I was going through my egg tempera painting supplies, thinking of the Advent.
For too many seasons our focus on Advent or “coming into place, arrival” is a season of expectation and a sense of reviewing our past to go forward. Christmas is the season after the completion of Advent, when “the divine energy of man is sent”. Advent and Christmas are not physical locations, rather they are mystical perceptions which happen in a variety of ways within the human experience. These two words or moments present themselves for valuable reflection every year. One place to begin this year is on Thursdays at St Paul’s Anglican, focused contemplative prayer and silence.
What is spiritual life and how does it manifest in the world? Centering prayer, contemplative prayer and the prayer of quiet are helpful ways to explore your interior as the season unfolds. We can actively try to open ourselves to listening to spirit arriving in our soul and remember whose we are, why we are here.
Advent is a time for unexpected fulfillment
and Christmas potentially sends us in a new direction.
Christmas is a brilliant idea, a divine baby born, a human like us, walking with us! Why would spirit do such a thing? Because we humans need an image to show us the way, for love to grow in us. In Christ we have a reference point for discovering life in the spirit, an example of what divine spiritual life looks like, to reflect on in ways that are true, good and lasting.
Come and prepare a place within yourself.
Advent is the Christian celebration of what other religions might call enlightenment. St John in revelations waited for Christ, the woman who was about to be stoned waited as well. Enlightenment is the inward realization and unveiled consciousness of being, identified with who we really are. We are individual expressions or manifestations of God, we wait, we seek, we are a wave of energy, light and purpose which is flowing through us and we see the same perfectly in the man Jesus Christ who arrived on Christmas day and now walks among us.
“All great spirituality teaches about letting go of what you don’t need and who you are not. When our ego and agenda get little enough and naked enough and poor enough, we find that the little place inside where we really are. Ironically it is small but more abundant, real, precious and more than enough. At that place, we will have nothing to prove to anybody and nothing to protect. We will be fully alive one breath at a time.