As Advent begins, I look forward to creating an advent wreath. I take solace in this ritual of an evergreen circle holding candles of purple and rose. I am drawn to the spreading of light as we illuminate more candles each week we move closer to Christmas. For me, the wreath feels ancient, connected and sacred; it is a sacred gift to imagine ways that I, my husband and daughter might enter into a nightly process of lighting a candle and praying.
It is my sense that our prayer expresses our deepest reality and offers us a potential experience of deep well-being and belonging. Still, it is not a facile process to gather from our separate activities and join each other in a mutually agreeable moment of prayer. It is my dearest hope for us that we meet in a moment of sincere and mutual desire for “we know not what”. That which draws us beckons us to gather together so small before the mystery of life, and reach toward a relationship with the ground of all Be-ing or Love.
Our nightly candle lighting and prayer together provokes and generates real intimacy – a quiet moment to know the heart of things. Practicing intimacy begins with creating space to be in contact with our inner self and each other. Be-ing in touch with self enriches and energizes our ability to give or share self beyond the moment. So, the sacred gathering ritual around our advent wreath connects us to our deepest human experience where Love is present to us. It seems that when and where we are most present, Love too is most present.
So, we pray from the very center of the heart of our be-ing. And we pray that creating this sacred space, these sacred moments together will deepen our sense of divine grace in us, with us and through us.
As a Reiki practitioner I am accustomed to gathering myself in a process of entering the moment and aspiring to be fully present, to relinquish the emotions and thoughts that bind me just for the time I am with another. It feels like a wonderful way to enter this particular day and to reach for the path forward from here.
So, I begin today by remembering a powerful expression of the kinship of humanity and the belonging such kinship invites if we let it. An invitation and reminder to be fully alive and fully present to each ‘other’.
“First they came for the ________, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a ________ Then they came for the __________, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a ___________. Then they came for the _________, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a __________. And then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”
Having considered my kinship with humanity I open my mind to the gifts of the spirit of truth and my heart to the soul of wisdom.
May I authentically live with the responsibility to protect the dignity of all beings and open my heart to the challenge of being a channel of divine compassion. Love is the key to unlock the secrets of benevolence, empathy, and life. May I live to transcend this mortal coil through the power of perfect love.
May I have the wisdom to enter the truth of absolute relatedness. . And may I open to Wisdom in its intimate wholeness, its unitive perception of reality; one that welcomes everything within its compassionate, benevolent, exuberant embrace. May I seek this path of healing towards wholeness that begins from a different starting point of trust and indissoluble intimacy; one that draws me deeper into unitive ways of being and births an understanding of ‘peace as an inherent quality of heart.’
A celtic prayer:
The blessings of heaven – the blessings of earth – the blessings of sea and of sky on those I love this day and on every human family the gifts of heaven – the gifts of earth and the gifts of sea and sky. In the silence of my heart let me give thanks for the gift of this day and pray for the life of the world…