This is a good year to reflect on the deeper meaning of Christmas, the holidays, our personal rituals and traditions.
It might be an Advent and Christmas season to cultivate simplicity and return to some of the roots of who we are as individuals and as families and as communities (and if you’re joining us from another tradition, please reflect on your own holy days). What is most essential? What are the simple, quieter things we love and have gotten into the habit of neglecting for the bigger, louder things and todos?
I invite you to cultivate a daily practice of simplicity for the next seven days. Starting today, yes today, and through the next seven days until next week’s Wednesday Reflection. What this might look like could be different for each of us. Perhaps it looks like intentional time for prayer. Perhaps it looks like meditation. Perhaps it looks like a walk in the woods or down the street. Perhaps it looks like a pause with a cup of tea. Perhaps it looks like time set aside to read something special. Perhaps it is a daily lighting of a candle and pausing. What does your daily practice of intentional simplicity look like? Please feel free to share ideas.
You may choose to up the ante, perhaps pausing for simplicity at the Seven Sacred Pauses*: midnight, dawn, midmorning, noon, mid afternoon, twilight, bedtime. In Jen Hatmaker’s book 7 Days of Christmas*, Hatmaker talks about Macrina Wiederkehr who calls these pauses: the night watch, the awakening hour, the blessing hour, the hour of illumination, the wisdom hour, the twilight hour, and the Great Silence. Wiederkehr calls these pauses “breathing spells for the soul” (I love this–look for an Advent Prayer themed around this). A quote from Hatmaker’s book: pausing is “an oasis to remember the sacredness of life, who we are, how to offer God the incredible gift of our live, and learning to be in the midst of so much doing“.
You could choose to use the Contemplative Prayers that are posting here for Advent each weekday until Christmas.
*I am not necessarily recommending these books, simply offering you the links to look at them yourself. I have not read The Seven Sacred Pauses and so can not speak to it (but it is on the way to my house, so if you want my review, ask me in a few weeks).