Fasten your seatbelt, folks, for another serious post. If you are a regular visitor, you must have gotten used to the tone of this blog which is often an attempt to simply invite you and me into some spiritual merienda.
How I wish I could make this as tempting as a Youtube home-baked instruction on oral sex which has 25 million views already and running. But it looks like cunnilingus and contemplation is a strange concoction in one blog corner. I mean, seriously, how many hits does the courageous Bishop Cruz blog-crusade against corruption and illegal gambling in this country get everyday? Maybe a wormlike crawl to 100, and mostly from seminarians and fellow clergies? I don’t really have the figure to be honest. Thomas Merton’s Youtube reading on the role of contemplative spirituality for our times has a speck of the 25 million – around 5,000.
But you know what? If you are hungry enough for God this Advent, then you can gather your scatterbrained attention and get to masticate slowly this quote from a 4th century Church Father – Bishop Eusebius of Ceasarea. So here’s the deal or no deal – Advent Reflection or oral sex instruction? I bet you would stay for a while, aren’t you?
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight the paths of God.”
“The prophecy makes clear that it is to be fulfilled, not in Jerusalem but in the wilderness: it is there that the glory of the Lord is to appear, and God’s salvation is to be made known to all mankind.
It was in the wilderness that God’s saving presence was proclaimed by John the Baptist, and there that God’s salvation was seen.
The prophecy meant that God was to come to a deserted place, inaccessible from the beginning.”
Apparently, through all these months of blogging, the desert image has mainly occupied my blogging space. Do I like the image? It’s a half-hearted yes too often because human being like me, said TS Eliot, cannot actually bear much reality. And the real “deserts of life” are actually much painful, ego-stripping, poverty-laden, isolating, confusing. But I’ll whisper to you one thing: it is SPIRITUALLY PROMISING, the assurance nurtured only by blessed hope and faith. What kind of desert that’s building you up currently? Or you get to wrestle with? Unexpectedly, that’s where you will meet the Sacred; that’s where God will speak direct to your heart the way God spoke to Israel through Hosea. It’s called presence, or salvation, or the birth of the Messiah. The question is: can you wait even painfully? Because this is what Advent is all about – waiting and listening with our personal or national deserts. I’m glad you stayed throughout this short reflection without swerving to the other offer. God bless you as you stay on with this desert of waiting we call Advent.
Art credit: Rev. Peters