Advent is a wonderful season, and we keep it at the Monastery. It is a season of cultivating hope, of pondering exactly what it is one is hoping for, of listening, and of being ready for surprises.
We also WAIT until the last moment to put up Christmas decorations – carving out a spot for Advent while the world is rushing ahead to Christmas. Not that we don’t love Christmas – we celebrate it for a full Octave of days – but first we prepare our hearts.
Today was the day that the trees arrived at the chapel, still plain, to be decorated throughout the day tomorrow. When we celebrate the first Mass of Christmas at 8:00 p.m., the lights and snowflakes and the creche will all seem new – because they will be fresh, bringing the joy of the season with them.