Two for The Holiday Season
Compendium Quotes #4
As we move into the holiday season, I offer two quotes that have helped me prepare to fully celebrate. I share them in the hopes that you will find them inspiring as well.
1- “…the period of Advent concerns the arrival of a new adventure, in whatever form it may end up taking.”
This quote helps me when I feel more stressed than excited about everything I have to do during this season. Here is more background:
The season of Advent, for Catholics and Protestants, begins on Sunday, December 3rd, and ends on December 24th.1 This season has helped prepare Westerners to celebrate Jesus’ birth (December 25th) since the 9th century. For some, it has become rather formal and routine. But the article from which this quote was taken helps us to revitalize the word as well as our preparations for the season:
“The etymology of the word 'Advent' may surprise you. The Oxford English Dictionary gives the definition of “Advent” as ‘The arrival of a notable person or thing’. It stems from the Latin root, Adventus, which means ‘arrival’ through its root from the word advenire whereby ad – ‘to’ and venire – ‘come’.
For Christians, this arrival is symbolic of the coming of Christ to the world in the form of man, and so the period of Advent marks the patient and expectant build-up to this special moment…it may be worth considering the period of “Advent” as one of “Adventure”. Referring back to Latin etymology, it is interesting to note that the root words of Advent and adventure are actually not so different.
The word “Advent” comes from Adventus and “adventure” from Adventurus, the latter signifying something that is ‘about to happen’ and also happens to come from the root advenire. From this, we could conclude that the period of Advent concerns the arrival of a new adventure, in whatever form this may end up taking.”
-Dec 18, 2018 by Charlotte from European Language Jobs website
Light the Advent candle and let the adventure begin!
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2- “Chapter 8: The Need for Narrowness.”
This quote is a chapter title that gives me permission to let go of all the concerns of the world and focus on my little gatherings with family and friends in this wonderful time of year.
There are so many threatening things going on in the world. We are so tired from reacting to them all. Yet we hear this underlying mantra in our culture that being narrow is bad and being open is good. Could there really be a way in which narrowing our focus is the right thing to do?
The author of this quote, G.K. Chesterton, is known for turning common thinking upside down. We need a fresh perspective. We are told that we must actively respond to headline after headline. Our reactions are scattered. Our lives become a series of short-term responses to threats which never die. How could we possibly let go for a season of celebration? That would be selfish. That would be narrow.
Yet, there is a case for narrow our lives down and engaging in a time of celebration. Humans have prioritized festive celebrations throughout history. There’s something important about refreshing key relationships, stepping back from everything else to give thanks with our family, and narrowing our thoughts and activities to the local community around us. This is how we rest and re-create for the challenges ahead. This is how we makegoodhappen, even in difficult times.
Happy November and December to all of my Substack readers!
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Advent in the Orthodox Church developed along its own trajectory and runs from November 15 through December 24.