Lux In Tenebris Lucet: Monday, December 19

Day 22 of our 28-day Advent journey of mini-dispatches to give you pause and light.

“To acknowledge and cross a new threshold is always a challenge. It demands courage and also a sense of trust in whatever is emerging. This becomes essential when a threshold opens suddenly in front of you, one for which you had no preparation. This could be illness, suffering or loss. Because we are so engaged with the world, we usually forget how fragile life can be and how vulnerable we always are. It takes only a couple of seconds for a life to change irreversibly. Suddenly you stand on completely strange ground and a new course of life has to be embraced. Especially at such times we desperately need blessing and protection. You look back at the life you have lived up to a few hours before, and it suddenly seems so far away. Think for a moment how, across the world, someone’s life has just changed – irrevocably, permanently, and not necessarily for the better – and everything that was once so steady, so reliable, must now find a new way of unfolding.

“Though we know one another’s names and recognize one another’s faces, we never know what destiny shapes each life. The script of individual destiny is secret; it is hidden behind and beneath the sequence of happenings that is continually unfolding for us. Each life is a mystery that is never finally available to the mind’s light or questions. That we are here is a huge affirmation; somehow life needed us and wanted us to be. To sense and trust this primeval acceptance can open a vast spring of trust within the heart. It can free us into a natural courage that casts out fear and opens up our lives to become voyages of discovery, creativity, and compassion. No threshold need be a threat, but rather an invitation and a promise.

“Whatever comes, the great sacrament of life will remain faithful to us, blessing us always with visible signs of invisible grace. We merely need to trust.

— John O’Donohue from To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings

May God raise you up

above everything.

Spread out like water of a lake.

Be abundance that never ends,

that never changes.

Be like a mountain.

Be like a camel.

Be like a cloud––

a cloud that brings rain always.

And God promised that it would be so.

—Archbishop Desmond Tutu from An African Prayer Book

Earlier essays on Advent:

  • With Eyes to See

  • Advent and Looking for Light

  • ADVENT 2020


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