The Contemplative Companion for the Week of November, 27th, 2017

The season of Advent nears.

Advent is just the remedy we need this time of year.

Advent is a four-fold count of grace, spinning us body and soul, deeper into the inner space of silence, like a pool of stillness.

A goodness that soaks into and releases even the earliest painful soul-stains.  The stain isn’t us. It just seems to mark us deeply, perhaps even never go away. What can remove this stain of pain?

The remedy of Advent, which reveals and reminds us of our essential goodness. That utmost inner gift of God to self. You are beautiful. You are good. You are loved. And that which in you is loved is goodness itself since nothing can separate it from the love of God in Christ.

The remedy of Advent heals even the deepest shadows of our being, where the pain still lingers, like a frozen bruise, blinding us to the deeper goodness hiding under the pain.

We tend to be strangers to such goodness, so it surprises us when we feel it up-surging through the cracks of beauty that Advent can awaken us to. We might even cry as the beauty and goodness come close, since our body and mental system don’t know how to process it.

Advent is so tactile. So embodied. Its beauty helps us feel. The songs. The lights. The well-lighted wreath that leads us week by week down the hallway of an ancient time, keeping its appointment to each of us, so to heal us a little bit more.

These are all helpers to our healing. A helpful easing of the cramp that comes with being so self-bound and wound. A healing that reveals the original goodness, hidden under the shadows of our shame and pain.

It’s the very beginning of the Advent journey. I have no destination. All I know is that words somehow keep helping me light the way. A way imbued with the Word. I’ve spent a good portion of my lifetime chasing and being chased by this Word.

Only in the silence, jumping in bare to the soul, have I discovered that the Word is more than any book; more than any earth or universe; more than any light or darkness. It is the Word beyond all words – that only silence can unwrap with its wisdom.

I don’t need to understand it. I welcome being understood by it, though. This is a contemplative speaking. And this shall be a contemplative Advent – perhaps an untried remedy for the severe swings drawing our attention between chaos and peace, heaven and earth, right and left, campaign and election, count and re-count, up and down, light and darkness…and everything in between.

Let’s take the Advent remedy together.

Image result for my yes is yours peter traben haas


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  1. Unfortunately this echoes Rousseau in describing man as essentially good, rather than a sinner by birth in need of redemption.


    1. Thank you Maureen for your comment. In my experience, even the most “corrupted sinners” are still love-able by God because they (and all) are created in the Image of God – and nothing, even the worst “sins” can ever remove this Image. We can forget the Image and Goodness, but never ultimately loose it (see story of Prodigal Son). And it is THIS IMAGE that is always the source of our Core of Goodness. The source of our goodness isn’t our self – it is always a grace from God. Philosophically, I deeply believe that Love Precedes Being…and that means Love precedes all Ways of Being. I wish you every blessing in Christ.


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