I like to watch things grow. Three pine trees were planted in my front yard when I was a little girl. They were so small we could jump over them. Throughout the years I would watch them grow. They became too tall to jump over. Then taller than my brother. Now they are as tall as the house.
Last year my niece was pregnant. She was one of those really cute pregnant ladies, you know the kind; you can only tell they are pregnant by the little basketball belly sticking out. It was so fun to watch her belly grow and to feel the baby kick. And then last February, after trudging seven blocks through a snowstorm I had the joy of holding my great nephew for the first time.
Growth takes time. It takes watering and feeding. It takes patience. It takes love.
Our interior life is a place that needs to be fed daily, in the quiet recesses of our being. It takes a little bit of watering and a little bit of sunshine. The key is to tend to the garden of our hearts, each and everyday through prayer, daily reflection, spiritual reading, the Sacraments, and acts of service.
Advent is the perfect season for little, quiet growth. There is a stillness as we prepare and await for our Savior’s birth. There is a quietness of Mary’s womb that lights up our hearts. And it all begins with planting one simple seed, the seed of humility, the seed of ‘yes’.
Mary’s yes changed the world.
We each have unique callings in our lives. These callings we hear in our prayer, in the quiet, in the recesses of the garden of our hearts. And our own journey with Christ, as it was with Mary’s, begins with a simple yes. And then it is followed by a lot of time for that yes to grow into something greater, a place where we, too, can bear the Christ Child within our own hearts and after time, share him with the world.
Spend time in prayer this advent season, allow Christ’s love to grow, day by day, quietly within you. Our world needs the light of Christ. Begin with the yes. Yes, I will spend more time in prayer. Yes I will be more patient. Yes, Lord, I will believe.