For the last few years I have offered a Yoga Advent Series in my parish. Taking off the general theme of Advent, I choose a focal point for our meditations. Last year’s was “Praying the Magnificat with Mary.”
This Advent I was inspired by the quiet darkness of the night sky giving way to the glorious star leading the Magi to the Christ child. In a darkened room illuminated by a sole string of star lights, we offer the prayer of our bodies, mind and spirit. So everyday during these last weeks I have been walking with the Magi, seeking…following the star of desire and fullness and love.
I have come to wonder about those moments when the travelers on this long journey questioned what it was all about as they literally, trudged through the sand, in sometimes harsh conditions. Mostly, they probably experienced day after day more of the same. The same task, the same vista, the same challenges, so much of the same.
What started out as a wonderful adventure quickly turned into the monotony of their daily life on the road. Did they wonder, as we sometimes do, who we are and where we are going? What about when they couldn’t see the star–when it was obscured by clouds or during the day? What kept them going?
We get that, don’t we? The excitement and thrill of beginnings often turn into the same-old-same-old. Fabulous honeymoons turn into months and years of tenacity and hard work. Fresh smelling newborn babies grow into somewhat smelly children requiring daily care. First days of work or school become endless deadlines and mountains of paper.
Perhaps those were the moments they found their way to ask themselves whose they were as well. To whom do I belong? For whom do I get out of bed each day?
Most certainly there were also moments that inspired the answers to those questions. Perhaps the captivating sight of that glorious, alluring star–the evidence of God creating something new in the world. Or maybe it was an encouraging word from a fellow traveler.
As for us, the answer forms in flashes and glimpses as well. A look or touch or memory that reminds us of the deep well of affection we have for our partner. A moment of awareness through laughter or play with our child or the marvel that may overtake us every now and then when we look at them. The gratitude we experience for the gift of work and colleagues or accomplishment of our own.
I am reminded of these words by Fr. Pedro Arrupe, S.J. below that so beautifully points me in Love’s direction and begins to answer my questions.
Fall in Love
Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you will do with your evenings, how you will spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love and it will decide everything.