In reflecting on today’s first Advent Sunday readings, I found myself trying to remember dark times and time spent in darkness. To my surprise what bubbled up was “womb time”.

We all spent most of our first years in complete darkness in our mothers womb and remember none of it?

Yet… that time was real and well spent.

We grow and grow and eventually grow strong and brave enough to venture beyond that original comfort zone. Nothing has ever been more rewarding than helping our mothers push us into the light.

So… why do we fear women and darkness? When do we loose the trust we had in both before birth?

Advent is mother Mary’s time.

A time of gestation, a time of waiting & wondering, patience & pondering. A time of anxiety & anticipation?

Many years later I again and again entered personal Advent times. And again, the effort was well worth it. The birth of each child opened new ways of seeing & being.

There can be no Christmas without Advent and the quality of each Christmas is in direct proportion to our willingness to take the time to breathe and wait trusting that at the end of each breathing out a new breath of fresh air comes out of nowhere.

Life is not so much about Faith or even Hope, Life like Love might simply be about learning to trust again.

How appropriate that following the feast of thanksgiving we enter the season of trust.

The Austrian Benedictine monk David Steindelrast defined gratitude as the feeling of appreciation that comes when “you recognize that something is valuable to you, even though it may have no monetary worth.”

Then… when we find reasons to be grateful each day, we will grow in health & self awareness, improve our relationships with others and eventually discover a true sense of fulfillment…

By Joy Sunday, the 3rd Sunday of Advent we will see Christmas with new eye and trust that the best presents we can give is our loving presence.

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