Happy Second Sunday of Advent! On this day, we light two candles in the Advent wreath and place all the animals in the empty creche. (I’ve collected miniatures of animals over the years that remind us of beloved pets who are no longer with us. That’s why my creche has a calico cat, an orange tabby and several dogs.)
I’ve been using a new resource for Advent: “Meditations on the Birth of Jesus: A Renovare Advent Resource for Spiritual Renewal” by Miriam Dixon and Margaret Campbell. You can find it here.
This resource, so far at least, focuses on lectio divina and visio divina. All my life, I have been words, not pictures, so it’s interesting for me to try to develop the skill of studying an image to find insight from God.
The image for the first week of Advent is on the cover of the guide, above. It’s from the French painter Georges de La Tour in the 17th century. It has two names: “The Nativity” and “The Newborn.” The image is of Mary and her mother with the infant Jesus. The white on Jesus symbolizes purity. The image is lit by a single candle that’s not in the picture.
Dixon and Campbell encourage us to see the intimacy, the hopeful expectation and the yearning on the faces of Mary and her mother. The meditation closes by asking us to think of someone in our lives who needs kindness and figure out a specific way to bless them this week.
Sounds like a plan!