Sacred Time – Ignatian Spirituality

This weekend the Church begins its observance of Advent. He is coming!

I marvel on the approach the Church has, over its historical past, sought to mark sacred time. The thinker Charles Taylor noticed that there’s something exceptional about how the Good Friday we observe this yr is not directly nearer to Christ’s Crucifixion than, say, the midsummer day of final yr; we enter into an imaginative place that brings the occasions of Christ’s life near us.

The creativeness of time and place may be very Ignatian; within the Spiritual Exercises, Ignatius steadily asks the one present process the Exercises to do a composition of place—for instance, imagining the dusty street that Mary and Joseph traversed to get to Bethlehem for the census referred to as by Quirinius (Luke 2:1–5).

Advent is a composition of place writ giant—it’s the time when the complete Church enters into an creativeness of what it was like for Israel to anticipate, with nice longing, the approaching of a Messiah. It is, after all, very completely different from the composition of place that retailers have—very efficiently—inspired us to embrace. Both compositions have their respective rituals, symbols, and customary practices. And with the media surge that retailers leverage, it is vitally simple to fall into pondering of the post-Thanksgiving season because the Christmas season.

But I’m a fan of the composition of Advent. It is a lovely liturgical season in its personal ceremony (pun supposed), distinct from Christmas. For it’s a season not solely about imagining historic Israel’s longing; it’s a season of coming to consciousness of our personal longing. From what can we hope to be saved? For what can we hope to be saved? What is the larger life to which God longs to attract us, individually, but in addition (and this is a vital query) as a Church?

If you’ve got kids, do a brief prayer round an Advent wreath each night this season. If you might be single, contemplate starting every day with a psalm from the Liturgy of the Hours; you could find them on-line right here. If you might be married, discover time to wish collectively about your shared hope. All of us can enter into Advent, to carve out a composition of place that disposes us to anticipate Christ’s coming extra hopefully.

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