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Holding To The Light (Advent 2023, Week Three) : 'Light and Authenticity'

“God calls to us in countless little ways all the time. Through a truth glimpsed fleetingly in a state of prayer he calls to us. No matter how halfhearted such insights may be, God rejoices whenever we learn what he is trying to teach us.”

(St Teresa of Avila)

Natural light can help us reset and recover. It can transform a dull outlook into a mood of enthusiasm and positivity. It can serve as a reminder that we play a small but significant part in the scope and the structure of Creation.

A friend spoke recently of how he found it tough to be 'authentic' or 'sincere' in his Advent prayer and worship as he was caught up in the fast moving and competitive commercial sector in which he works.

To be open to what God is 'trying to teach us' - in the way described by St.Teresa of Avila above - is a real challenge. Work patterns can be intense, family commitments can increase, there are the challenges of a forthcoming Christmastide during a stressful 'cost of living' crisis.

To move forwards confidently, despite circumstance, we require the light. We require those 'fleeting glimpses' that do fill us with fresh insight and energy. The presence of the divine in 'countless little ways' calls upon us to find our true selves even in those moments of fatigue and confusion.

Elizabeth might put it in these terms as we reach 'Gaudete Sunday' on our Advent journey : 'Bend lovingly over your adopted children' . They serve as a powerful reminder that we are always in relationship with the Trinity and the gentle draw towards human authenticity in prayer is very welcome.

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