Tuesday, November 29, 2011

From Friends' Blogs: A Wealth of Advent Offerings

Catching up on friends' wonderful blogs:

Michael Bayly has a gorgeous must-read posting about the significance of Advent up right now at his Wild Reed blog.  An excerpt:

The liturgical season of Advent began this past weekend and as part of my Catholic community's Sunday liturgy we heard some words of wisdom from W.H. Auden, who once said that what all humans have in common is that we are all waiting. And that what it is we are waiting for defines us. 
These words have stayed with me for the past two days and have made me reflect upon what it is I'm waiting for. I've come to the conclusion that I'm waiting and longing and working for transformation – my own and the world's.
The type of transformation I'm referring to is grounded in love and blossoms in lives and relationships of compassion, justice, integrity and wholeness. The love that inspires and fuels such transformation dwells deep inside each one of us as well as beyond us.

And Claire Bangasser's A Seat at the Table blog has an equally rich reflection on the significance of Advent as a shared pilgrimage of expectant waiting, in which we pool our collective hopes for the divine embrace and for a more humane world.

At Phil Ewing's Blue-Eyed Ennis, the picture alone is worth a thousand words of Advent meditation.  (I've been there, and I can place myself in the feline shoes rather easily.)

And at his Following the Voice Within site, Tim reflects on the us-vs.-them implications some folks are finding in the "new" liturgical translation now mandated for English-speaking Roman Catholics.  I hear him making a point similar to Claire's about the shared journey on which we all find ourselves, and the need to affirm each other and recognize the ties that bind us on that journey (a point Thom Curnutte also underscores right now at Faith in the 21st Century with a beautiful quote from the Secular Franciscan rule).  Tim writes,

This is all a bother to me because, fundamentally, there is no 'they', whether collared or RC.  There are only 'us', the creations of the Divine.What clothes you wear or what job you hold doesn't change that.  What person you love or church you attend doesn't change that.  If the Joneses want to think otherwise, let them.  They can do anything they like.  Then again, so can we.

I'm also moved by John Churchman's poem-prayer call to us to "tip the bushel of oppression" as we celebrate Advent, which has come to my attention through Jayden Cameron's Gay Mystic blog.

And I didn't know yesterday, when I blogged about the "new" (i.e., old and antiquated-Latinate) liturgy and its reversion to the term "consubstantial," that Michael McShea had already zeroed in on the same term at his Cultural Christian site.  I find it fascinating that Michael's mind was running along the same lines my mind was pursuing, as he wonders whether those now praying the term "consubstantial" are going to recognize the consubstantiality of members of gay couples with each other, or their own consubstantiality with their gay brothers and sisters.

Though I also have to admit I'll never hear that orotund Latinate term with the same ears again, after having read Father Euruproktos Epiphanes's brilliant send-up of orotund liturgical Latinity last evening in response to Peter Steinfels's "Aftermass" posting about the "new" liturgy at Commonweal.

A consubanshle Advent pilgrimage, y'all!  It seems we're all in it together, and I for one am delighted to be on the journey with so many inspiring, holy fellow pilgrims who dream along with me of a world in which everyone finds a place at the table.  A table where each of us has both a place and a name.

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