The paradox of Advent means I do not live where I am but I am not where I will be. I live “between the times”.
Welcome to our online Advent series, “Light, Darkness and Paradox”. Beginning Monday, November 29th, we invite you into this world which exists at the centre and where opposites meet and find peace. Over the next four weeks we will explore together the themes of light and darkness, peace and conflict, contemplation and action, strength and weakness, Christ and culture.
Retreats are periods of reflection, calling us into the paradox of contemplation and action. The format of our online retreat is very simple. We invite you to be open to change and transformation.
Here are some steps that you might find helpful:
- Choose a time that works best for you. Ten to twenty minutes is all you will need.
- Find a quiet space that will help you find stillness within.
- Slow down your mind, your emotions and your body. Slow your breathing, use yoga, or simply sit in silence.
- Open your heart and mind and centre yourself through repeating a mantra or meaningful phrase, making a prayer of offering or dedication, using a practice from your own faith tradition, simply maintaining silence, or using another preparatory practice that works for you.
When you are ready, read the online posting. Be attentive to words, phrases and feelings that the reading may evoke for you. Why are you drawn there? Look for connections and new insights and stay with these. This is how you move deeper into how God is working within you.
At the end of each reflection we will suggest other ways to work with what is calling for your attention. Each Monday there will be a new posting for the Advent series.
We hope these Advent reflections will help you enter into this time of preparation for the great mystery of the Incarnation–God with us.
Thanks to Scarboro Missions for permission to draw from their Meditation Exercises as a resource.
Mary Shamley, Spiritual Ministries Network
Joan Atkinson, csj