The Season of the Seed

“Advent is the season of the seed …
“Advent is the season of the secret, the secret of the growth of Christ, of Divine Love growing in silence. It is the season of humility, silence, and growth.
“For nine months Christ grew in His Mother’s body. By His own will she formed Him from herself, from the simplicity of her daily life. She had nothing to give Him but herself. He asked for nothing else. …
“This time of Advent is absolutely essential to our contemplation too. If we have truly given over our humanity to be changed into Christ, it is essential to us that we do not disturb this time of growth.
“It is a time of darkness, of faith. We shall not see Christ’s radiance in our lives yet; it is still hidden in our darkness; nevertheless, we must believe that He is growing in our lives …
“This attitude makes every moment of every day and night a prayer. In itself it is a purification, but without the tense resolution and anxiety of self-conscious aim. …
“Above all, who, knowing that Christ asked for his heart to love with, for his heart to bear the burden of the love of God, could fail to discover that in every pulsation of his own life there is prayer?
“This Advent awareness does not lead to a selfish preoccupation with self; it does not exclude outgoing love to others — far from it. It leads to them inevitably, but it prevents such acts and words of love from becoming distractions. It makes the very doing of them reminders of the Presence of Christ in us.
“If we practice this contemplation taught and shown to us by Our Lady, we will find that our experience is like hers.
“If Christ is growing in us, if we are at peace, recollected, because we know that however insignificant our life seems to be, from it He is forming Himself; if we go with eager wills, ‘in haste,’ to wherever our circumstances compel us, because we believe that He desires to be in that place, we shall find that we are driven more and more to act on the impulse of His love.
“And the answer we shall get from others to those impulses will be an awakening into life, or the leap into joy of the already wakened life within them.
“It is not necessary at this stage of our contemplation to speak to others of the mystery of life growing in us. It is only necessary to give ourselves to that life, all that we are, to pray without ceasing, not by a continual effort to concentrate our minds but by a growing awareness that Christ is being formed in our lives from what we are. We must trust Him for this, because it is not a time to see His face, we must possess Him secretly and in darkness, as the earth possesses the seed. We must not try to force Christ’s growth in us, but with a deep gratitude for the light burning secretly in our darkness, we must fold our concentrated love upon Him like earth, surrounding, holding, and nourishing the seed.”– Caryll Houselander in The Reed of God

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