Wait a minute! How did we already get to the week of gaudete and rose candle colored candles! Advent is one of the most beautiful times of the liturgical year for scripture reflection, music, and the monastic heart of my Benedictine community. We are encouraged to take time to reflect deeply on Isaiah's promises of the coming messiah. Our chant reflects the anticipation that fills this Church season. Advent is beautiful in its simplicity and can deepen each sister's call to come sit at the feet of the Lord.
Unless your a teaching sister! My favorite season of the Church year falls on the busiest time of a high school teacher's semester! I do try to keep up on grading, lessons, and contacts...but this time of year it all my best intentions seem to fly out the inbox! There are piles of freshmen and sophomore homework to grade; I finally got the semester review pages written for each of the classes, but the finals aren't written yet; I've contacted a few parents (they have been getting notes, but one last warning or blessing can't hurt) and checked in with the principal; and in 11 minutes I can assure you there will be a knock at my door and a young man on the other side who is very surprised at the grade he earned isn't the one he imagined.
Don't get me wrong. I love teaching. I love working with teenagers and learning from them and occasionally laughing with them. But there are days that I wish I was a bit more organized and wouldn't feel so rushed at one of the most reflective times of the Church year. I do take a bit of extra time these days. My favorite 'breather' is my shift in noon praise...I pray it quietly by myself in the Reservation Chapel here at the Abbey Church, but during Advent I decided to chant it using some of my favorite tones from home. It makes me slow down in prayer and reminds me of the monastery and all the sisters at home (miss you!). The blessing of my current teaching ministry is our two week Christmas break! I will be home before The Eve and able to be at home in the Monastery all throughout the main celebrations of the Christmas Season! It will be wonderful to delve into our deep quiet those last few days before Christmas.