A Pilgrimage of Stillness

Dec 4, 2020

Today’s reflection comes from Amy Kulesa, Director of the Bon Secours Associates and a frequent retreat presenter at the Center. Amy is leading a contemplative Advent weekend retreat that begins today so we thought it was perfect timing to share this! She’ll also be leading “The Healing Power of Purpose” day retreat on January 2. Click here to learn more. Now, let’s take a quiet moment to read this beautiful Advent reflection that Amy shared.

A Pilgrimage of StillnessAdvent prayer

Advent is a short season, but it is the long road of a soul from Nazareth to Bethlehem. It is such a short distance as we are accustomed to thinking of distances. Yet it is a road into infinity, into eternity; it has a beginning, but no end. In truth, Advent is the road of the spiritual life, the pathway all of us must take if we wish to get to heaven. It is the place from which we must start if we do not want to miss our destination. We must start with a fiat that re-echoes Mary’s fiat. A fiat that each of us should say in the quiet of our hearts, and preferably at eventide when all creation is still.

Let us then arise and shake the sleep from our eyes, the sleep of our emotions run amuck, the sleep of indifference, of tepidity, of self-pity, of fighting God. Let us arise from that sleep with its dark nightmares, and journey to Bethlehem. But let us understand that Bethlehem is our own souls, hearts, minds.

Advent is a time of standing still, and yet making a pilgrimage. A pilgrimage in which we don’t use our feet. A pilgrimage in which we stand still and yet walk a thousand miles across the world. . . So let’s enter, you and I, into the pilgrimage that doesn’t take us from home. Ours is a journey of the spirit, which is a thousand times harder than a journey of the feet. Let’s go.

~By Catherine de Hueck Doherty (1896-1985), from Grace in Every Season