Aristotle wrote that art imitates nature. I ran into a good example of this during the past week when talking with the Bongiornos, with whom I’m writing a screenplay for a possible fictional film about our monastery and school. In the course of writing the outline for the movie they raised the question “What are we (the audience) waiting for?” Most story plots involve some sort of tension cause by wondering if or when a certain thing is going to happen. Will the ship make it through the storm? Will George Bailey come up with the money to keep his savings and loan afloat? Will our hero eventually win the heroine’s heart? What is it that we are waiting for in the movie?
ADVENT: WHAT ARE WE WAITING FOR?
Advent is a time of waiting. And it’s a great time to ask ourselves, “What is it that we’re waiting for?” [The following ideas are excerpted from an excellent book of meditations for Advent and Christmas entitled “From Holidays to Holy Days.]
In his Rule for Monks, St. Benedict demands that any new aspirants to the community “truly seek God.” He orders the entire life of the monastery toward this seeking: poverty and silence, stability and holy reading, caring for the sick and waiting tables; everything is carefully designed to keep us focused on our single-minded search for God.
At this time of year the full-page ads in the newspapers get ramped up as merchants try to create in us a desire for earrings that cost $2,500 a pair or crystal figurines that can be had for $4,500. This year, though, there’s sometimes a bit of irony involved. On the page facing the full page ad for a $5,000 wristwatch is an article with photos of people and their houses that have been totally destroyed by wind and waves of Sandy. Facing a picture of some forlorn woman starting in shock at the empty lot that used to contain her home is a photo of a pair of platinum earrings with no price attached – it’s as if the merchant knew where the ad would be place and didn’t want to be embarrassed.
WHAT DO YOU WANT FOR CHRISTMAS?
There are some interesting things on some folks’ Christmas lists this year:
A house that has a roof, heat and electricity.
The gift of perseverance after “losing everything” to Sandy.
The virtue of hope in the face of devastation.
What are YOU waiting for?
What is it that we’re waiting for? On the count of three everybody sing “O Come, O come, Emmanuel.”
|Overwhelmed by damage to her house, I wonder what Regina wants for Christmas?|