An Advent of creation

Happy New Year! The first Sunday of Advent marks the beginning of the Church’s calendar. Isn’t that neat? I’ve never been a big fan of New Year’s resolutions in the traditional sense, but New Liturgical Year’s resolutions? Those I can get behind.

My year ended with a drive from my parents’ house back to my own in Philadelphia, having spent a gloriously restful few days with family for Thanksgiving. My drive was extended by an hour or so, thanks to a patch or two of traffic, but was made infinitely more enjoyable by a long talk with an old friend. She rattled off her many inspired plans for Advent, and one in particular caught my attention: “I want this to be an Advent of creation,” she said.

An Advent of creation. I like that. Immediately it reminded me of a line in The Reed of God, an extraordinary book that the same friend had given me as a birthday gift. Musing on the merits of creating, Caryll Houselander writes, “No man should ever make anything except in the spirit in which a woman bears a child, in the spirit in which Christ was formed in Mary’s womb, in the love with which God created the world.” Still it strikes me, still I love to turn these words over in my mind. Do I create in this way? In fact, do I even have a habit of creating? And I don’t just mean packing my lunch in the morning or sending emails at work. Do I add beauty to the world? Do I bring life to those around me? Do I create for the sake of others, not just for my own enjoyment? I’d like to spend my Advent answering these questions, living a life of creation.

I know, even the best laid plans can go awry. But I’m hopeful. I’m hopeful that, as I prepare meals for friends and write long-contemplated blog posts and put my neglected camera to work, I will be adding a little love to the world. I’ll be taking more breaks from my habits of consumption and accompanying Mary as she fosters the life who brings life to us all.





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