by Catherine Doherty.
Advent is a short season, yet it covers a long distance. It is the road of a soul from Nazareth to Bethlehem. It seems such a short distance, as we are accustomed to thinking of distances. Yet it is a road into infinity, into eternity. It has a beginning but no end. In truth, Advent is the road of the spiritual life which all of us must begin if we do not want to miss the way.
We must start with a fiat that echoes Mary’s fiat (let it be done). It is a fiat that each of us should say in the quiet of our hearts.
Let us arise, then. Let us shake the sleep from our eyes, the sleep of emotions run amuck, the sleep of indifference, of tepidity, of self-pity, of fighting God. Let us arise from that sleep with its dark nightmares and begin our journey to Bethlehem.
But let us understand that this Bethlehem we seek is within our own souls, our own hearts, our own minds.
Advent is a time of standing still and yet making a pilgrimage. It is an inner pilgrimage, a pilgrimage in which we don’t use our feet. We stand still; yet in a manner of speaking, we walk a thousand miles across the world—just because we choose to stand still.
So, then, let us enter, you and I, into the pilgrimage that doesn’t take us from home. For ours is a pilgrimage of the spirit, which is a thousand times harder than a journey of the feet. Let us arise and go.
—From Donkey Bells: Advent and Christmas, pp. 15-16, available from Madonna House Publications
"Prepare an inn interiorly, every day of Advent, for the Child to be born in, the Child who was denied an inn when he came to earth and who still is denied the inn of many hearts." — Catherine Doherty
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