It all began with a question: What if during Advent, we began with four lit candles and each week lit one less, quieting/stilling our way toward the center Christ candle? How could a question like that be imaged?
One person said it’s like a countdown… Yes, indeed! I’ve also suggested that it mirrors our physical experience (in the Northern Hemisphere) with light.
The image breaks into five vertical panels, from right to left: four lit candles, three, two, one, and the Christ candle with the Madonna and Child.
One of the things that delights me is that in the tradition of reading left to right, the image begins with Christ. God is with us all along. Becoming quieter can help us discern that. I had a conversation early on about my desire to have people move through the image from right to left, like coming back to the beginning. The person I was talking with told me about the “O, Antiphons.” Really, really interesting stuff… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O_Antiphons. And although it can’t be proven, I choose to leave room for the mystery.
Download (free) this image in black and white using the link below. Add your own color this Advent!
Check out the liturgies that accompany the images… it’s all free here from LEAD – https://waytolead.org/portfolio-item/advent-2017/
Some morning journaling time with a page awaiting completion led to an invitation outside. See the burning bush at the lower left of the second photo? When I got closer, I realized there were white blossoms on it, just doing their thing, opening to Love. Perhaps I should have removed my slippers… they’re quite wet now. 🙂
“Break down in me the barricades of death / And tear the veil in two with your last breath.” ~from Malcolm Guite’s poem, Cleansing the Temple, https://malcolmguite.wordpress.com/2017/04/11/holy-week-tuesday-cleansing-the-temple-4/
I am fascinated by the concept of the veil, that thing that separates, being torn and revealing… I don’t know… the Christ mystery (?) that holds all things together in a different (unimaginable?) way.
And further, somehow Malcolm’s words “with your last breath” cause me to wonder about breath pointing us toward the practice of tearing the veil ~ not only “last” as in “final”… also last as in previous, the breath that just happened without any fanfare.
“From within this loving relationship [the Trinity], the Christ came forth to draw us back (through the enfleshed Jesus) to where we all originally came from.” ~Richard Rohr Daily Meditation
In Christ all things hold together. ~Colossians 1:17
“May I be the tiniest nail in the house of the universe, tiny but useful.” ~Mary Oliver, Upstream
From Richard Rohr Daily Meditations: “The choice to divest oneself of comfort and safety, to stand with the marginalized and affirm their dignity, seems more important than ever. That has always been the Christ path…” ~Ellen Haroutunian, https://cac.org/helen-haroutunian-2017-02-28/
“[T]he Mercy, which we experience here as power, intelligence, purposive goodness, is really none other than the mystical body of Christ of which we are, inevitably and inalienably, living cells.” ~Cynthia Bourgeault, Mystical Hope
“Make us your building, sheltering others, walls made of living stone.” ~Bernadette Farrell, Christ, Be Our Light
Oh, to be about this work first.
Chesed (mercy) ~ “a bond, an infallible link of love that holds the created and uncreated realms together” ~Cynthia Bourgeault, Mystical Hope