Friday, December 03, 2010

Circling Time: Ignatian Repetition

One of my Augustinian friends calls them three-finger days, when you need three fingers to keep track of your page in the Psalter, the Proper for the day and a Common while praying the Hours. I'm in next of extra fingers these days. The Advent volume of my breviary is double-marked - one set of ribbons marking where we are now, the first week of Advent and a bookmark set where we will be in a few weeks -- on the cusp of Christmas.

The Advent reflections I've been writing for the Standard & Times need to be sent off to the editor a week or 10 days before they appear. We're not quite at the 2nd Sunday of Advent and I'm in the throes of writing the last reflection - which will be in the paper just before the 4th Sunday of Advent.

More so than in most seasons, this Advent my prayer tastes of Ignatian repetition. I am embarking on my personal Advent contemplations having already spent the better part of 4 weeks soaking in the Advent readings in the Lectionary and the Hours. And I am finding them to be sharper versions of the contemplations that resulted in the published reflections — very much repetitions of the contemplations in the Ignatian sense. When Ignatius instructed those making the Exercises to repeat a contemplation, the idea was not a step by step review, but a sharpening of the lens, a revisiting of the places that seemed to bear the most fruit. The point was not to dig out something new, but to deepen what had been there from the start.

I'm looking forward to being wholly in Advent for a bit. Soon and very soon...


The photo was taken during my 30-day retreat, the view is from my room, of a pine tree behind Eastern Point retreat house, just after a blizzard.

1 comment:

  1. These posts are putting me in Advent. (except I lost most of the books in my four volume :-( )

    I feel that the Church ought to have considered the academy when these seasons were declared (or the academy the Church, but should our liturgical calendar be the only one heeded? Our regular calendar already is!) . . . at least Christmas is off!

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