From Season of Promises
Strangely enough, those who complain the loudest of the emptiness of their lives are usually people whose lives are overcrowded, filled with trivial details, plans, desires, ambitions. Those who complain in these circumstances of the emptiness of their lives are usually afraid to allow space or silence or pause in their lives.
(Caryll Houselander, The Reed of God)
Quiet now. Pause. Attend. Advent is a time to cultivate the sheerest, most blissful emptiness. Advent is a time to cultivate – metaphorically speaking – the emptiness of the waiting womb, the womb waiting to receive and give birth to the Son of God. Quiet now. Pause. Attend.
During the Shopping Season our lives fit the description offered by Caryll Houselander, a mid-20th-century English Roman Catholic sculptor, writer, odd duck, party-goer, and lover of life. During the Shopping Season our lives often are filled with activity: “trivial details, plans, desires, ambitions.” But in the random quiet moment, if we allow ourselves to reflect, we feel empty, the emptiness of a life void of meaning and purpose.
The only way to fill the emptiness that has no meaning is to cultivate the emptiness that does have meaning, the emptiness of the waiting womb. We cultivate this rich, nourishing Advent emptiness when we take a few minutes each day for nothing. We cultivate this warm Advent emptiness when we make time each day to wait for the sake of waiting, to hope for the sake of hoping, to be empty for the sake of being empty. We nourish Advent emptiness in ourselves when we make some space in each day to do nothing but open our heart to the coming of Christ. Quiet now. Pause. Attend.
Lord Jesus, help me to be open to your coming, to wait, to be empty for you alone to fill my heart. Amen.