Certain of the light, season of Advent calls us to surrender to the darkness

      As always during Advent, I find myself reflecting on the theme of light and darkness. I tend to think of myself as a child of the light. Summer is my favorite season and I rejoice in spring when the sun begins its trek high in the northern. sky, soaking in those long days of sunshine and warmth. Yes, I don’t like winter; the seasonal cold leaves me, well, cold.

      However, I have come to appreciate the winter’s darkness in a more spiritual way.

      Most people view total darkness in one of two ways. Some will find it a scary experience, a time of great fear as they feel the smothering weight of the blackness settle around them. For these, it is a time of little hope for any ray of light.

      For others, they surrender. In that surrender, they find a certain peace and security by allowing the darkness to wrap them in its warmth. There is a sense of anticipation. In that surrender, they discover a depth of spirit rarely experienced; they settle into the cocoon the darkness weaves knowing – confident – that the light is there waiting.        

      We all have times of darkness in our lives. How we deal with those periods of darkness depends on our perspective. Do we wallow in the darkness and despair of every seeing the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel? Or do we surrender, so certain in our faith that there is light to be found, always?

      Advent provides us with a time for pause, a time of waiting…a time to delve into our spirits. It is a time for our souls to awaken in the darkness in order to rejoice in the warmth and light to come.  

      In this week’s Gospel (Jn 1:6-8, 19-28), John the Baptist tells the Levites and priests, “I am the voice of one crying out in the desert, make straight the way of the Lord.”

      God is coming, John says, God will be here before we know it. 

      Unfortunately, too many of us take that “God is coming” business to only mean the birth of Jesus at Christmas. But Advent, which comes from the Latin “adventus” meaning “coming,” is present, not past, tense. Advent calls us to an awareness that our innermost beings wait constantly – longingly - in the darkness of our lives for the Light.     

      For those of unprepared, there is fear, unease. We compensate by telling ourselves there’s still time, but in the dark times, we panic, flailing about trying to find something – anything – to hang onto.

      For others, we find in this season of Advent, a time to prepare and we wait, listen and carefully watch. In our surrender to the darkness, as people of faith, we know the Light is just around the corner, barely out of our touch…waiting for us to reach out and hold on tight if we have prepared.

      During this season, which calls us to fully embrace the holiness in our midst, recall the words of Mary in her Magnificat: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior for he has looked upon his lowly servant.” (Lk 1:46)

      The time to prepare is now.

     Debbie Bosak is the editor and general manager of Northwest Indiana Catholic Publications and a member of Ss. Peter and Paul Parish in Merrillville. Email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .               

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