Friday, December 14, 2007

Advent reflections

Hi friends on PWAL, and welcome to the new members this week!

Here's a theological/spiritual reflection I prepared for On Earth Peace's national counter-recruitment networking call yesterday. 

We sponsor these calls about every 6 wks, and this round included organizers from Los Angeles and Claremont, CA; Reading and Philadelphia, PA; Bradenton, FL; Oregon, and Ohio.   Each call includes some theological reflection, sharing about current challenges and victories, and practice using a strategy tool.

Although at a point it specifically refers to counter-recruitment, I thought you might like to use it for your own reflections or devotions -- insert your own area of work, when you get to that point.

Dark and pregnant Advent blessings,

Matt Guynn
coordinator of peace witness
On Earth Peace

Advent Counter-recruitment reflections
Matt Guynn, December 2007

Right now we are in the Christian season of Advent, waiting for the birth of the Christ child. Advent is a time of active expectation, of yearning -- of being conscious of what still has not been born in us, and what waits to be renewed.
As we gather today, I ask that you take a moment to breathe and notice what you are yearning for, what might be waiting to be born in you.
(Silent reflection)
Jessica Powers, a 20th century Carmelite nun and poet, wrote the following lines about Advent and about Mary, mother of God, the divine feminine:
I live my Advent in the womb of Mary / I shall be born of her by blessed grace / I wait in Mary-darkness, faith's walled place / with hope's expectance of nativity.
I knew for long she carried me and fed me,/ guarded me and loved me, though I could not see. / But only now, with inward jubilee, / I come upon earth's most amazing knowledge:/ someone is hidden in this dark with me.*
(Pause/ soaking in)
An attitude of active expectation, and receptivity, counters the way we as change workers or activists can become fascinated by our plans and strategies and the way that we are going to bring change. 
Not that strategies are bad – I love them! but I wonder if sometimes we fail to open to the gifts that God / the Divine might birth through us.
So I ask you to reflect on your counter-recruitment organizing in the last few months – Look at it with your sideways eyes, your heart vision, your intuition.  Take a breath and ask for some insight or sense about it.  What is waiting to be born?  What is starting to take shape?
(Share aloud)
Closing meditation:
"We are celebrating the feast of the Eternal Birth which God has borne and which God never ceases to bear in all eternity... But what good is it, if this birth does not take place in me?  Everything lies in this, that the birth of Christ should take place in me."
~ medieval German mystic Meister Eckhart

* The Selected Poetry of Jessica Powers, Regina Siegfried, ASC, and Robert F. Morneau, eds., Washington, DC: ICS Publications, 1999.
Matt Guynn / December 2007


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