I am waiting in the silence for Messiah, the One who saves, the One who is Love, to come into my heart. Ah! He is already here, yet He seeks even more of my heart.
This Advent I was wracked with mono (since October) as well as stomach flu (last weekend). At first I was angry: how unfair, why did this happen to me, why now? I was planning to go "home" to be with family on the South Shore of Boston for Christmas as usual, and as usual, the hype and stress of getting everything done before I hit the road for a 7 hour drive to stay at other people's houses (even people I love) was starting to ramp up. To give you an idea of how this feels:
One night in the midst of stomach flu ickiness earlier this week, I was awake, sweating, feeling so horrible I almost felt out of my body. And that's where I met Jesus. "Accept everything." That's what my spiritual director had said in his voice mail message that morning. "Jesus I trust in You." It's so simple, yet it was all Jesus was asking. Accept Me, accept what I am doing, even if you don't understand it or don't like it. Trust Me. And I did. I surrendered. I felt a release, and it was as if I was new again, almost like a re-birth.
A couple days later, I decided I would stay home - MY home - for Christmas this year. So here I am on Christmas Eve eve, enjoying the peace of my own home. The closeness I feel with Jesus-being-birthed in my heart and in my life is indescribable. I will spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at Mount Saviour Monastery (another sort of "home") with the monks and in a silent Christmas retreat. Being alone, not being afraid to be alone, knowing my own decision-making is based on clear discernment is empowering as well as humbling.
I'll go visit my awesome family for New Year's Eve weekend. And I'm thinking I may do this every year from now on.
|Fourth Sunday of Advent: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel|
On a separate but related note... my dear, lovely mother-in-law died last Thursday, Dec. 14th after six months of difficult recovery from a massive stroke. She surrendered and received the peace of Christ in eternal rest. May perpetual light shine upon her.