Thursday, December 1, 2016

An Advent Reflection

Pat Pickett, OblSB
Pat Pickett, OblSB, is an oblate of Saint Benedict’s Monastery and shares a reflection about Advent. Oblates of Saint Benedict are Christian individuals who associate with a Benedictine community in order to enrich their way of life. They live according to the wisdom of Christ as interpreted by Saint BenedictTo learn more about Oblates and the process of becoming an Oblate, visit

In the still, quiet, gray of midnight morning, everything was calm. Light snow began to decorate the evergreen branches outside the kitchen window. My reflection abruptly ended as I was startled by the twinge I felt across my back. The calm and quiet rushed to a crescendo of personified knowing. As I stood, the twinge radiated to the front of my body. It was time. Waiting was over. Driving to the hospital over freshly snow-covered streets, the contractions were close now.
In a little over an hour, I was holding my son. He showed no signs of his recent journey and my mind began to drift as our heartbeats melted into one drumming sound, tu-tum, pu-pum tu-tum, pu-pum tu-tum, pu-pum. Nine months of waiting, five months since that first whisper of movement telling me that a new life was growing inside me, my son was now nuzzled against my breast.

What a gift to have been pregnant during Advent! Those days brought me closer to Mary, closer to the mystery of God’s love being clothed with the body of a baby. Each day became a reflection on the Incarnation. For me, it was a realization of how God waits with each of us to say, “Be it done unto me according to your word.” Christ is born into the messiness of our lives when we are open to the profound reality that God is always there giving us a chance to receive this new mysterious, re-created eternal life.
Watching my baby become a little boy and now an adult, I am brought back yearly to that tender birthing Advent, realizing that Christ is always coming to each of us, waiting for us to become more familiar and accepting of the story, realizing that our whole life is a birthing time. Partnering with Christ, we learn to say, “Yes!” with more abandonment each Advent cycle. We begin to see, to believe that God really is at work transforming us, creating new life, forming our lives into the “kin”dom of eternal love.

My yearly journey into Advent is to have faith that God waits with me and with all of us. God takes me where I am and works with me, with us. God’s new life is always about to happen tu-tum, pu-pum tu-tum, pu-pum tu-tum, pu-pum, God longs for that day our hearts will synchronize as we are held in God’s loving embrace.

Pat Pickett, OblSB

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