Today, we were to host my family for a group birthday party: my mom, my husband, and my sister-in-law all celebrate birthdays in the last 10 days of November, and we invited extended family to celebrate with us today. Z wasn’t feeling well last night, but I figured I could manage on my own. I awoke this morning with a sore throat and achy glands, and that germy feeling in my mouth and sinuses. Z commented that he had the worst sore throat he’d ever experienced. We decided that hosting a party with three octogenarians and an infant plus two toddlers was probably not a good idea, so my brother is having all the non-sick ones over instead. It also meant that I missed mass and choir on this first Sunday of Advent, the first Sunday of the new liturgical year.Earlier this week, I was at my local Catholic book store (Pauline Books and Media) and I picked up a book of readings for Advent earlier this week featuring scripture, readings from Thomas Merton, and prayers for each day of Advent and Christmas. This will be my companion through the season. There are similar books in the series featuring readings from Padre Pio, G.K. Chesteron, Thomas Aquinas, C.S. Lewis and others.
The preface to the book is a wonderful quote:
Advent is a time of waiting, of expectation, of silence. Waiting for our Lord to be born. A pregnant woman is so happy, so content. She lives in such a garment of silence, and it is as though she were listening to hear the stir of life within her. One always hears that stirring compared to the rustling of a bird in the hand. But the intentness with which one awaits such stirring is like nothing so much as a blanket of silence. – Dorothy Day