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Holding To The Light (Advent 2023, Week One) : 'Light and Recollection'

Updated: Dec 11, 2023

'Help me O Lord, to withdraw my senses from exterior things, make them docile to the commands of my will, so that when I want to converse with You, they will retire at once, like bees shutting themselves up in the hive in order to make honey.'

(St Teresa of Avila)

The term 'recollection' is often defined as a 'period of reflection or thought'.

At any key time within the Christian calendar we might be encouraged to distance ourselves from 'external preoccupations' and so prepare ourselves for a 'conversation with God'.

In her 'Prayer of Recollection' St Teresa of Avila suggests something more akin to a 'gathering' of ourselves, a 'reclaiming' perhaps, as we commit to an authentic 'moving' into the presence of the God within us.

'The soul collects its faculties together and enters within itself to be with its God.'

This delicate and deliberate 'movement', a turning away from the world of sense to the palace within our soul, is vital for St. Teresa, for she insists that God 'does not give himself wholly until He sees that we are giving ourselves wholly to him.'

In this regard any 'recollection' nurtures a truly humble approach alongside a manifest gratitude for the traces and impact of God's presence in our lives. This, despite any ignorance, overlooking or dismissal on our part of the ways of the divine in the past. We 'gather' ourselves anew, aware of our 'uniqueness' in this present moment.

As we enter this 'Season of Advent', we might look to shine a light upon the scope and simplicity of 'recollection', a step on the way to our own transformative journey in the midst of daily life and daily struggle.

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