Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Advent Readings and Praying the Hours

Today is the day to get back into the patterns that sustain me. I've moved all the bookmarks in my prayer book and vowed to get into the spirit of Advent. Usually, I have no problem with that task. Usually, I'm fighting the urge to overindulge in the winter holidays. But this week, I'm struggling with the fact that Thanksgiving is over, and I feel like I hardly had a chance to look forward to it.

Here's where the lectionary and fixed hour prayer will help me. My daily prayer book (Phyllis Tickle's The Divine Hours series) roots me in Advent readings. My daily prayers will remind me to be on watch. After our Thanksgiving travels, I need to do loads and loads of laundry, and we don't have much food in the house, and the daily tasks of modern life threaten to overwhelm me. Plus, the car is making a strange noise, and at some point, the roofers will show up, and work accelerates. Once again, I wake up at 4 a.m., with my brain whirling.

So, I'll return to the Advent texts. I'll light the candles, and bake some cookies, and listen to my favorite albums and CDs. I'll remember that the whirl of modern life will always want to consume me. I'll take some time to listen for that voice, crying in the wilderness. I will hammer my swords into plowshares. I will look for ways to live in the light, not the darkness.

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