Deus locus noster – the Creator God, the Creator Trinity is our place, our living environment...
We are beginning the liturgical season of Advent. The invitation during these weeks is to ready our hearts, minds and spirits for a renewed understanding of Incarnation. What does it really mean to say that ‘the Word became flesh and lived among us’? What are the implications of the reality that God assumed, not merely human flesh, but that of a vulnerable infant? How will my life change as I deepen my belief in the fact that God entered fully into, became part of, the created world? Fr Luiz Carlos Susin, speaker at the recent EGC, reminded us that ‘St Augustine theologically affirmed: Deus locus noster – the Creator God, the Creator Trinity is our place, our living environment.’ In the Acts of the Apostles, St Paul expresses a similar truth in the familiar words ‘ … for in God we live, and move, and have our being.’ (Acts 17:28)
During Advent the liturgy offers us the opportunity to once again listen to the words of the Old Testament prophets. We can be tempted to think that the main role of the prophets was to denounce those aspects of the world of the Jewish people of the time that were not aligned with what God asked of them. However, I have discovered that another way to hear the prophets is to listen to the ways in which they announce the signs of God’s presence. They invite us to recognize the moments of encounter with God which we are offered every day, through other people, in the goodness and kindness we experience, in the beauty and mystery of our environment, in our own capacity to be generous and courageous in responding to the needs around us.
Through our baptism we are called to be ‘priest, prophet and royal person’. Perhaps our Advent practice this year could be to take up the call to be prophetic, through our attitudes and daily actions and in our relationships, to announce that God is, in fact, present, that God is ‘our place, our living environment’. And then we will be ready to sing with joy at Christmas – The Word IS Flesh and LIVES among us.
In the coming weeks as we prepare to celebrate the Christmas season, I share this prayer, which we might pray for each other.
In this Advent season,
help us to slow down for Christmas,
that we might attend deeply
to the birth of the Christ
May this be the gift we offer,
to ourselves and our loved ones,
as we wait in holy darkness
for the surprising birth of God.
Bruce Sanguin ‘If Darwin Prayed’
Sr Susan Flood osu – Prioress General, From the Circular No. 304