By Sister Catherine Cleary, OSB
Advent is a time for quiet, for prayer, for trusting in the presence of God, and expecting that God’s presence will save us from whatever danger threatens us.
On the 4th Sunday we pray, “Unless your faith is firm, you shall not be firm.”
Perhaps that means strong faith stabilizes us. That is, if our faith is not firm, we will be unsteady, unmoored, unprepared … especially in times of stress.
Advent is a time for tending to our faith, that it will weather all life’s challenges.
We tend to our faith in quiet, in prayer. As we do so, we gain the strength we need to accept Isaiah’s command to “wait and remain tranquil.”
Joseph is a great example.
In Matthew’s gospel, Joseph is faced with a huge personal crisis. His wife is pregnant by someone else. He has decided to divorce her quietly, in keeping with law.
But an angel appears to him in a dream to tell him about Jesus. Joseph – in faith – decides to take Mary home as his wife.
Joseph’s faith helps him remain firm, in a time of great personal stress.
Advent calls us to pray, to hope and to realize anew that God is with us. To tend our faith, that it can stand up to all storms, whether in our own personal homes and lives, or in those of our dear neighbors across the globe.
Advent prayer and awareness of God’s coming brings us, in faith, to the simple prayer, “Come Lord Jesus, dwell within us.”