A quiet sadness as well as joy Advent Season 2017 I have not written much about Advent this year, well actually, I have written nothing. Sometimes the sadness in the world and the chaos and war mute my soul, it is a quiet place. I may act happy and joyful on the outside, and while it is not completely untrue, yet I seemed wrapped in an inner silence, a place of sorrow as well as expectation. My dreams have been strange over the last two weeks as well. Being in a Monastery, I guess the Advent season, a time of waiting can affect more deeply because of the silence. I would like to share one of them. In the dream, I was getting up and washing my face. As I looked into the mirror I saw a reflection of someone else, though I knew it was me. It was shrouded in darkness. Then it cleared up and I saw that my right eye went blind, all that was there was a white film where my eye should have been. Yet I could see through it, but very little. I then went to our nurse and she told me that yes I was going blind, but did not seem concerned about it, so I was not either and actually started to dance. That dream whatever it meant, sort of shows my inner state I believe. I feel blind, yet I can see, losing something and joyful at the same time…..perhaps I am both home and nowhere at the same time? Yet, my trust in God seems to be growing and when I pray, I sense a union with all men and woman throughout time. It is as though time does not exist and that all of us are in reality standing before God in anticipation of ‘something’. I am growing in the sense that each human person, no matter who they are, or where they live, or what they believe or what have done, are loved by God in a unique way. So in prayer, I feel I am accompanied by all as I raise my heart and mind to the Holy Trinity. I know this is a common experience that all people who pray experience, for how can they not as their hearts open up more fully to the actions of the Holy Spirit, who intercedes and prays with and us. In the Incarnation, Christ Jesus put on the ‘Mind-Of-Man’. Our minds are more often than not filled with fear, anger, lust, jealousy and deep anxiety. True these deep emotions/feelings can be hidden, yet in how we act out and spend our time can alert to the deep unrest that is more or less our lot. Christ put on our nature (The-Mind- of-Man), felt it, perhaps in ways that go way beyond our own experience of our humanity. For he did not have the luxury that I have, though a false luxury, of escaping for a time. He could not escape His condition, nor did he want to. He embraced our human situation fully, not flinching from the pain that each human being has to endure. He wishes us to put on His mind: The-Mind-Of-Christ. Perhaps for those who pray, when they experience their oneness with all and find that their hearts are expanding in ways they did not think possible, then it is then that they may begin to understand that it is the Mind-Of-Christ allowing that to happen. It is all gift, all we need do is to desire it, to begin, to take that first step, then the next, and it is God’s love for us, each of us, that will allow our hearts and minds to be filled with the love of God in Christ Jesus. In that, we find joy and begin to understand how wonderful life is, no matter what we have to go through. For each moment is unique, we are called to do the most loving thing in each moment. Yes a hard task, yet over time, we find ourselves actually doing it more easily and in wonderment, we thank God for his healing and grace. The prayer of Breath Breathe in and sense all taking that breath with you, breathe out and release all to the Lord of Mercy, no time before the presence of the Eternal, for in that moment, we share God’s Infinite Being, no time, or place, just love, mercy, and healing. I have no understanding of this union, yet I experience it, that we are one, and what we do to another in thought, word or deed, we do to ourselves as well as to Christ.