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aheartlightningYesterday I finally put pen to paper (well, actually, it was cursor to document) in an attempt to find words to share with the Church congregation I will address on Sunday. It’s always a challenge to find something novel to say in Advent. “The Lord is coming soon” sounds flat and “Prepare the way of the Lord!” is also over-used. It isn’t as if I hadn’t been thinking about it for weeks but I’m still not satisfied with my efforts. Advent is such a meaningful time for me that I would like to say something stirring, something to wake up the desire, the yearning that lives deep in the hearts of all of us. I wonder if using the “wake-up call” that Thomas Merton gave me this morning would work. I’d probably have to pass out the words for further reflection or repeat it a few times so those only listening with their normal ears would get the image, but maybe it would be just the thing to make the light dawn. Just maybe…

Make ready for the Face that speaks like lightning, uttering the new name of your exultation deep in the vitals of your soul. Make ready for the Christ, whose smile, like lightning, sets free the song of everlasting glory that now sleeps, in your paper flesh, like dynamite. (“The Victory” from The Collected Poems of Thomas Merton, p.171-172)