Our Humanity Roots Us in Hope

Suzanne Cooke, RSCJ
Today, I realized how short Advent is this year given that Christmas is on Monday.  The final week of Advent will literally be a few hours in length.  Now even Advent seems rushed.  How do we slow down sufficiently to enjoy the opportunity Advent offers us?
Today, I realized how short Advent is this year given that Christmas is on Monday.  The final week of Advent will literally be a few hours in length.  Now even Advent seems rushed.  How do we slow down sufficiently to enjoy the opportunity Advent offers us?

What helped me stop for moment this past weekend was to decide to enjoy the super moon.  Did you notice it?  Grazing up at that moon was phenomenal.  Moments like that provide a different kind of espacio.  Such an experience arrests one’s attention to the point of deepening consciousness and opening of one’s sensibility to transcendence. As I pondered the beauty of the moon, I thought of a quote from Sr. Ilia Delio, “A dynamic universe provokes

         …the idea and understanding of a dynamic God…This is a God who is deeply immersed
         in a love affair with the beloved, the creation which flows out of his divine heart…To live
         in the Risen Christ is to see the world with new eyes…to live from a new center of love.
         What happens in Jesus is to continue in our lives as well, if the Christ is the fullness of
         what our lives are intended to be.”
 
In the face of God’s indwelling, we are confronted with a radical newness – we are God’s Beloved.  We are being invited at this time of year to see the world differently. As we “watch and see” in wholly different ways, we are urged to “submit to the dangerous newness” (Walter Brueggemann, SJ). This newness is HOPE.  Hope impels us to act on behalf of all God’s creation.
 
Advent is a season that honors human yearning for meaning and belonging.  All the readings of the season urge us to take the time to be still and experience the presence of God in relationships, in events, in life.  Seizing opportunity for reflection and self-assessment, we can begin to see our world as God does…filled with grace and love.  These days of internal nurturing of our hearts allow us to experience the constancy of God’s reaching out to us in love.  Our new perspective as God’s Beloved inspires the courage to respond to God’s grasp. Advent is essentially a season of hope.
 
The newness of seeing ourselves as God’s Beloved connects us with Christ.  Called to adopt His attitudes and sensibility, we reground ourselves in the grace of our humanity. Creating moments of silence leads us to Christ and Christ leads us to act.   

Advent is the ideal time to pray with the Chapter Call - To Live in a More Human Way. This call urges us to adopt the style of Jesus and become more connected with our brothers and sisters, to be… “more human, more simple, more approachable, in order to show the joyful and compassionate face of God.”  As God’s beloved, we are invited to announce the good news that God dwells among us.  In Christ we are all called to co-create a world of justice, peace and love. This work remains the longing of the Heart of Christ and speaks of the genuine hope that all may find in Christ.

Suzanne Cooke, RSCJ is the Head of the Conference of Sacred Heart Education.
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Schools of the Sacred Heart share in the educational mission of the Society of the Sacred Heart as articulated in the Goals and Criteria. The structure supporting Sacred Heart education in Canada and the United States includes the Conference of Sacred Heart Education and the Network of Sacred Heart Schools.  Together they provide services and programs to ensure vitality of mission for the member schools sponsored by the Society of the Sacred Heart.