The last few days have been bleak, dreary and somber, heavy laden with a dark gray blanket of clouds and an almost perpetual drizzle. I confess I find it comforting, especially around this time of the year, this late advent season with its antiphons and readings about our longing for the coming of our Redeemer into our fallen world of sin, pain,suffering and darkness. I guess I’m also melancholic in temperament and a Michigan native, and so both of those things put together make me kind of embrace this somber weather and penitential season.
I’ve been reading this book called Awaiting the Child about Advent.
It’s more of a journal style of writing about one woman’s reflections about Advent. The most striking thing about it for me was the distinction she makes between two main types of spirituality, ” wintry” and ” summery”. The summery type is more positive,uplifting and charismatic, contrasted with the wintry which is more a ” dark night of the soul”of absence, of longing and resignation and hope in suffering. It’s very much an Advent style, this wintry spirituality, and it very much fits in with my own melancholic personality.
Somehow my own spiritual life has been more a long wintry Advent than a bright warm and charismatic summer and I am ok with that. God is intimately present in my own life but the shadows, the sorrows and the cares remain, along with a quiet longing for transfiguration and eternal rest.
The Office, the Jesus Prayer and spiritual reading are my constant companions throughout this journey. Lately I’ve been longing for Holy Communion but it’s not something I receive often, and sadly, if there are no confessions offered tomorrow it won’t even be something I’ll be able to receive even at Christmas.