Advent Reflections


4th Sunday of Advent

The LORD’s are the earth and its fullness;
the world and those who dwell in it.
For he founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers.

Psalm 24

Brother David Steindl-Rast talks about the overflow – which he describes as the ‘articulation’ or active response of thanksgiving, when it overflows… it sparkles, and it ripples down.

Let us give thanks this week for the fullness we have already received from God, often through others, and then let this gratitude flow over in acts of kindness, generosity, care and love, rippling and sparkling all the way. Cornelia Connelly wrote in her notebook, Generosity, generosity, generosity must be the beginning and ending of our life  – surely her way of describing the overflow.

3rd Sunday of Advent


The desert and the parched land will exult;
the steppe will rejoice and bloom.
They will bloom with abundant flowers,
and rejoice with joyful song.
Isaiah 35

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there… When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about ideas, language – even the phrase ‘each other’ doesn’t make any sense.   – Rumi, Sufi poet and mystic

Cornelia Connelly wrote to her niece, Bella, and asked her, Oh, where has all your joy gone, my darling? Let us take time this week to step more deeply into this Advent season, to be with the Lord in the quality of space that opens up within and around him, a space in which, joyfully, we are one with others and creation.


2nd Sunday of Advent

On that day, a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom.
– Isaiah 11


Maybe this week we could look for and spend some silent time with a tree that has been damaged but continues to grow – and ponder…. Gerald May, psychiatrist and theologian, suggests we reconnect with the natural world:

“We have been fractured… broken away from the nature of one another, broken apart from our own nature… We must allow ourselves to be healed…”

Let us begin again as, so often, did Cornelia Connelly.


1st Sunday of Advent


Come, let us climb the LORD’s mountain,
to the house of the God of Jacob,
that he may instruct us in his ways,
and we may walk in his paths.

– Isaiah 2

Cornelia Connelly once wrote Uphill work requires encouragement. Perhaps as we climb stairs or walk up a slope (even if not a mountain) this week we could pray for those whose preparations to celebrate Christmas – or even to get through each day – seems an uphill struggle.

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