Advent: the season of the woman

As we begin Advent, I would like to share an excerpt from a newly published collection of Advent meditations by Mother Mary Clare PCC:

I am quite confident all of us have a deep sense of expectation, joy, and wonderment that Advent is about to begin.  We look at the different facets of this season, turning it like a jewel in our hands.  Certainly it is a season for children.  It is a season of the child, the joy of the Child who came to give joy to the world.  It is a season, certainly, of the family, of the community.  Family life was solidly established in a lowly, humble, poor place, with three persons who loved utterly and were utterly given–even the CHild, from the first moment, because he was divine.  It is a season of great tenderness, and a season of hush. It is a season for everyone.  It is a season particularly of the woman.   It is the woman, especially the religious woman, who has great potential for the spiritual maternity which was so basic in our Lady and which was ratified on Calvary when she became the Mother of all the redeemed: ‘Woman, behold your son.’  It is a precious season.  Advent summons us to fold the wings of our souls.  There is rich meaning in the expression ‘folded wings’.  Wings that remain always folded and are never spread to fly in giving would be wings that would deteriorate in atrophy, whereas wings that are always spread and never folded in intense personal prayer, reflection, contemplation would be wings quickly spent or, perhaps, misspent.  With all of this–the joy, the tenderness, the maternal sense, the deepening of womanhood, the folded wings–Advent is a season of tremendous purpose . . . .

Mother Mary Clare was the abbess of a Poor Clare monastery in Roswell, New Mexico. These conferences to her Sisters were collected posthumously, and I for one am very grateful. I have read every book I could get my hands on by her and was saddened that her writing would cease when she died. I am eternally grateful to her dear Sisters.

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