We are here to be seeds of God. To be seeds that bear fruit (Luke 8:15). To be seeds so that all may have Life, and have it abundantly (John 10:10).
Seeds are very small but very determined. They ride the wind to find their ground. Particularly with native plants, like the weed-like mustard seeds of Galilee (Matthew 13:31-32), they then sink into the land and, seed by seed, can take over the countryside.
So here we are. Not you alone, but we. Today. In our native soils. Called to take root and to grow God here.
To do that, to be seed's of God's life, we must have God within us.
I'll borrow from the first-day meditation of the Irish Jesuits' Advent e-retreat: "A French mystic summed up her relationship with God in the phrase: 'You gazed on me – and you smiled.' Do just that, now. Allow God to smile at you, and allow yourself to smile back! Perhaps much of the prayer time is spent right here, but that will be fine! To move forward into the unknown, you need to be aware of God’s infinite and unconditional love for you. Saint John says, ‘Think of the love which the Father has given us.’ – but we need a stronger word than ‘think’! Ask to be enthused, caught up, overwhelmed by that love. You are meeting God, and God is wonderful!"
"Ask to be enthused," say the Irish Jesuits. The literal Greek meaning of enthused is en-theos, to be in God.
The best routes there, according to reports I trust, are contemplation, community, and solidarity with people on the margins. (Our Advent resources, Contemplation resources, and Community resources offer many routes for this.)
And so my Advent determination is to spend more time every day in contemplation; to bring the fruits of contemplation to my communities for discernment; and to be more fully present when I'm with marginalized people; and all of this so that I may "hammer my swords into plowshares" and be, each day, a seed of God.
This post was partly inspired by meditation with the artwork of a member of Solidarity with Sisters, Mary D. Ott. Her images of nature, like Dark Magenta Grasses above, are both serene and powerful. All by themselves, with no words at all, her art can lead you into deep contemplation -- into God's presence. I use Mary's artwork gratefully and with permission.