The Work of the People

DEC 01, 2014 - Visual Epistles

Advent as Wisdom

How do we prepare our minds and hearts for the coming of Christ? Often, we speak of Advent as anticipating Christ’s return and Christ’s arrival, but how does that take place? Richard Rohr talks about the difference between the “intellectual mind” and “wisdom mind,” this is the difference between information and transformation.

Questions for Reflection

  1. “What do you think of Advent for yourself?” Rohr starts by describing a practice in the monastery of celebrating the Novena, or the nine days before Christmas (December 16th). The monks would enter the evening vespers chanting “O, Sapientia” (O, Wisdom): “The first invitation was the inviting of wisdom. And wisdom was not just knowledge, not just intellectual understanding.” How is wisdom different from intellectual understanding? What might it mean to start this year (Advent) by inviting wisdom to fill our minds?
  2. “Maybe we would do well to start with ‘O, Sapientia’…, the welcoming of a bigger mind. The wisdom mind is a bigger mind than the rational mind. We religious people are supposed to be experts at that, but we pretty much settled for information rather than transformation.” How is it a tendency for religious people to want more information rather than transformation?
  3. Rohr talks about why we celebrate Advent by saying: “To understand big mysteries you got to put them on small stages. That was the wisdom of the church year.” Why is it important to focus on this particular aspect of Christianity, the coming of Christ? What might be a “blockage” that might keep people from “welcoming the eternal Christ”? What prevents you from preparing your heart and mind for Christ’s coming.?

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