John the Baptist’s cry in the wilderness is a response to Isaiah. “He’s coming!” John preaches. “Make ready the way of the Lord!” Metanoia, the gospels call it. But metanoia doesn’t really mean repent. It means, as Jesus also proclaims, “Change your way of thinking!” “Change your heart!” Do not think like the world thinks. Put on the mind of Christ, as St. Paul will later say [1 Cor. 2:16]. See the world as God sees it and it will start becoming a Realm of Harmony and Peace. Justice will flourish, and, as the psalm has it, God will rescue the poor when they cry out, and the afflicted where there is no one to help.
John foresaw the terrible consequences of rejecting God’s offer of forgiveness and regeneration. But the picture he paints of division and judgment is only the other side of the peaceable kingdom Isaiah describes, the divine harmony held open to those who chose love and mercy over selfishness, greed, and oppression. The choice is ours. It is always ours. It’s a matter of priorities.
Commercially, there are twenty-one shopping days left before Christmas, counting Sundays. But liturgically and spiritually, Advent is really a time for spiritual preparation, for mind-changing and stock-taking, a time to remind ourselves why we have cause to celebrate and give gifts. It is the fast before the feast. It is a time for quiet, joyful reflection on our deep need for salvation, the longing of the human heart for redemption. Read more...
Quote of the Day
Roses under my window make no reference to former roses or to better ones; they are for what they are; they exist with God today. There is no time to them. There is simply the rose; it is perfect in every moment of its existence. —Ralph Waldo Emerson
From My Photo Album
Cairo continues to watch over me. Here he is checking the fridge for possible intruders. (Or is he just trying to keep cool?)
The new revised edition of The Spirituality of the Celtic Saints
is now available from New Priory Press