Monday, November 29, 2010

Walk in the Light

After my first child was weaned, I went on my first-ever overnight retreat. It was hard to leave my new little family, but I had experienced so much in that year-and-a-half of motherhood that I really felt called to spend some time apart, undistracted, before the Lord. I know some people don't need this kind of silence and separation, but I've experienced it twice, and the practice has borne great fruit in my life. Anyway, on the third and last day of the retreat, I had a final meeting with my spiritual director, and his parting words to me, thoughtfully, deliberately, and gently spoken as he looked directly at me, were "Walk in the light." I have a hard time explaining exactly what that phrase has come to mean to me, but if I had to give words to it, I would say it places me. It puts me exactly where I need to be. The notion would be that right where I am, standing right here at the counter as I type, or as I bathe a preschooler, or as I help a child with his homework, or as I drive a minivan (hey! No laughing!), my response to God's presence puts me in the Light or in darkness. And I choose light.

The first scripture reading from Isaiah yesterday, the first Sunday of Advent, contained this verse, my verse, and I sort of lit up when the lector read it during Mass. The glow from the first lit candle on the grand Advent wreath gave illustration to the words, and I felt that wonderful sense of being right where I was supposed to be, doing what I was supposed to be doing. Sitting right smack in the middle of God's will.

As mothers, I think we are blessed to have a vocation where the right choice is usually fairly obvious. It is when I toy around with thinking and debating and mulling things over that I realize that I am really trying to cajole God into seeing things my way. It's a red flag of sorts, and a warning that I am trying mightily to step out of the light. But what's there? I shudder to think what's there. Momentary satisfaction, and then what?

We are blessed that the frequent appearance of literal light throughout Advent can serve as a reminder of the Light of the World, and how we should live our lives in His glow.


  1. Jeannine, I am glad I have found you and your blog. Your posts are very thought provoking. I should print out the one about waiting and stick it on the wall where I can see it, reminding me of what I should be striving for. Thank you for sharing. May God bless you.

  2. Dear Sue~

    I appreciate your comment so very much. Thank you for reading. A Merry Christmas to you!