Sunday, November 27, 2011


'Unto you, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul; O my God, I trust in you, let me not be put to shame; do not allow my enemies to laugh at me; for none of those who are awaiting you will be disappointed.’ Psalm 25:1-3

So pleads the Introit at Mass today, Advent Sunday.   The words speak to me of that sense of waiting for something as yet unknown that can only be discovered as, with trust, I ‘lift up my soul’ to God.   Later, words might come as to what is awaited: come God’s Wisdom; Come, O Dayspring; Emmanuel, the Desire of all the Nations.  Come.  But such invocations do not form as yet.  For the present time of waiting there is but this sense that I must lift my soul to the Lord.  Now is not the time to sing veni, veni Emmanuel, but to allow this blind yearning until such time that words form and give voice to what is desired.

Having spent more than thirty-five years within the ark of words, of structures and forms, I now need to find those words for myself.  On Radio 4 there is a programme called ‘Something Understood’: at present I no longer understand, rather I wait for something dimly sensed.  Felt.  That that thing is God I have no doubt.  But what will that experience of God be like?  Perhaps Eliot expresses it best:

And what you thought you came for is only a shell
Is only a shell, a husk of meaning
From which the purpose breaks only when it is fulfilled
If at all. Either you had no purpose
Or the purpose is beyond the end you figured
And is altered in fulfilment.

And so I, and the Church, wait as we have done for two thousand years, for the in-breaking of God. For that fulfilment of a dimly-sensed desire which only God can satisfy.  And what that ‘coming’ will be like God alone knows.  That is His gift and His promise.  For the time being I can but trust that, as I turn the eyes of my heart to God, this winter of longing and waiting will prove the soil of new life. 

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