The journey to Christmas

Mary David Walgenbach, OSB Benedictine Bridge, Living in Community Leave a Comment

The Advent season is one of expectation and preparation for Christmas. This Advent, I am especially aware of the contradictory messages that daily surround me and each one of us. I wonder: How are we to make the Advent journey to Christmas?

A brief reading of the morning paper and listening to the evening news offer a picture of a gloomy world where trust of one’s neighbor is in short supply. Then across my desk comes the Wisconsin Council of Churches newsletter, November 19, 2015, with A Call to Prayer and Action to Welcome Syrian Refugees, saying: “As faith leaders we seek to honor the scripture’s call to protect the refugee and the immigrant. We pray that our leaders will meet the challenge of this day and reject fear and cruelty.” May it be so.

And hope from another source—Cardinal Walter Kasper, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and author of Mercy: the Essence of the Gospel and the Key to the Christian Life. I would want to quote his writing in its entirety but since space prohibits it, just this one line:  “We can see that the rediscovery of mercy is a response to the enormous extent of suffering in the twentieth century, suffering which continues in our twenty-first century.” (from Kasper’s article, “Mercy is the medicine to heal the wounds of the Church,” in The Tablet, November 14, 2015.)

Each morning, midday and evening the sisters’ community and friends gathers to pray the psalms and listen to the scriptures. In the monastery oratory our prayers meet the needs of the world.

We do not pray alone, but in the Spirit we join with members of Sunday Assembly, the Oblate Community of Holy Wisdom, Friends of Wisdom Prairie, Benedictine Sojourners, benefactors, coworkers, family and friends. We pray for conversion to God and conversion to our neighbor.

How do we make the Advent journey to Christmas?

Together we make the Advent journey. And with Benedictine hospitality let us welcome one another with the courtesy of love.

Mary David Walgenbach, OSB

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