US Catholic Faith in Real Life

A reflection for Advent: Holiness is near

In these last few days of Advent, what ordinary circumstances of your life might also be called “good news”?

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When a place or time seems touched by God, it is an overshadowing, a sudden eclipsing of my priorities and plans. But even in terrible circumstances and calamities, in matters of life and death, if I sense that I am in the shadow of God, I find light, so much light that my vision improves dramatically. I know that holiness is near.

And it is not robed in majesty. It does not assert itself with the raw power of empire (not even the little empire of the self in which I all too often reside), but it waits in puzzlement, it hesitates. Coming from Galilee, as it were, from a place of little hope, it reveals the ordinary circumstances of my life to be full of mystery, and gospel, which means “good news.”

Kathleen Norris, “Incarnation,” in Amazing Grace (Riverhead Books)

Reflection questions:

1. When have you felt the “overshadowing” of God?

2. In the scripture readings today, Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth who is also pregnant with her first child who leaps in Elizabeth’s womb when Mary approaches. It seems the baby who is become John the Baptist knew holiness was near. What about you? What holiness is drawing nearer to you?

3. In these last few days of Advent, what ordinary circumstances of your life might also be called “good news”?

Published: 
Monday, December 19, 2016