An Advent Table: Longing to be a Sonshine Bearer

"To shed joy around, to radiate happiness, to cast light upon dark days, to be the golden thread of our destiny, and the very spirit of grace and harmony, is not this to render a service?"
—-Victor Hugo from Toilers of the Sea

Advent is truly an amazing time of year. As Britt Arnhild (whose sweet cyber
Advent Party is coming up on Saturday) reminds, its "not Christmas in advance but a period of waiting and preparations". To wait, to prepare...isnt this very much like the qoutidian mysteries, the stuff of so much of our life? So i would venture to add that Advent is a sacred season and gift all its own. And what's more, its not only a season but also a way of living. Genevieve Kineke (in The Authentic Catholic Woman) speaks of Advent not only as an a part of the liturgical year but also as something that permeates our whole existance on earth as we await a deeper unity with Our Lord. She points to Our Blessed Mother as our the model of how to wait and bear with grace. From her book:

"The Culture of Joyful Anticipation:

Mary's time of waiting during Advent is instructive for the whole church. During the months between the Annunciation and the birth of Our Lord, she lived in a quiet but joyful expectation, pondering the intimate contact with God Himself, her understanding of His promises and the realities of a future life with the holy Child. While wondering about many things, each day was sufficient unto itself. Her only known action (aside from keeping Shabbat one would assume--my insert) was that of service to her aging cousin, who was facing her own momentous event, the birth of her long-awaited child.

The liturgy links Mary's life leadng to Christ's nativity first with the previous four thousand years of anticipation of the Messiah, and then with our own expectation of His Second Coming at the consumation of the world. Waiting is inevitable in our temporal sphere, and Mary shows us how to do it well. She takes each day with docility and faith and uses the time cheerfully and charitably.

Mary is not imaptient or irritable, nor does she waste time in idle thought. God's timing cannot and should not be rushed, and Mary reminds us to think about the future with trust."

Truly, there is something so very special about an Advent-ful kind of living, and now we are entering the Advent season proper to boot.

Advent is also Mary's special time as she deepens into being "Godbearer", bearing Our Savior. Mary actual bore the Son of God, but we her daughters can also bear in our own way by becoming a "Sonshine bearer". Traditionally a woman has sometimes been called the "sunbeam in the home", spreading joy around. But of course that sunniness comes from letting the Son (Christ of course) in... so really in our own ways we can be "Sonshine bearers" simply by letting Him lead us to a more kind and contented way of living. A pretty exciting thing really! And its something i long to explore this Advent.

The understandings and ways to "be a Sonshine bearer" may be different for us each. During this Advent i am hoping to see if there are ways this might unfold in my own life, and i invite anyone drawn here to join along : )

I know i'm a few days early yet, but...

A Deeply Blessed Advent Everyone!

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