This week was the final session of the Advent Retreat in Daily Living I’m offering at the University of St. Thomas. (St. Hubert’s final session will be Monday evening.) As I’ve explained before, in a Retreat in Daily Living, participants commit themselves to a prayer each day and go about their daily lives as usual, coming together weekly for input and sharing.
This week our theme was Actively Waiting in Joyful Hope. Since law school exams are in session, we got moved from our normal room to one not conducive to small group discussion. So we began our session with a full group discussion of the participants’ experience of prayer during the final week. What came out of that discussion was gratitude for the ability to slow down during this busy season, a recognition of the value of ritual in focusing our minds and the sense of Advent as a creative time. I then spoke briefly about the gift we give in response to God’s gift to us of the Incarnation – the “joyful hope” we bring to the world, sharing some thoughts about what it means for us as Christians to gift the world with hope.