The Heart Cave

Stephanie Nolan, O.S.U.

 

I must remember to go down to the heart cave

And sweep it clean, make it warm, with fire on the hearth

And candles in their niches

The pictures on the walls glowing with quiet lights

 

I must remember to go down to the heart cave

And make the bed with the quilt from home

Strew rushes on the floor

And hang lavender and sage from the corners

 

I must remember to go down to the heart cave

And be there when you come.

Geoffrey Brown

Here the cave suggests to our imagination the gentle welcoming of the newborn savior. However comforting the scene, we cannot linger at Bethlehem. Advent is not merely a season for commemorating the historical birth of Christ. It is actually designed to prepare the Christian for the coming of Christ in the Now of our present and for the glorious coming of the victorious Christ at the Endtime.

In our times there is the urgent cry and deep longing for a savior: Come Lord, come Now, and do not delay. Each morning we rise to witness new tragedies of biblical proportions: an exodus of whole populations, fleeing tyranny, the slaughter of the innocent; bloodshed, hunger, disease; hatred and suspicion and distrust among families and nations. In dark moments we ask: Where is God? Does God sleep in spite of the storms that surround us? With the psalmist we plead,

“Wake up Lord! Rise up! Clothe yourself with strength!” (Psalm 42).

“Have you forgotten mercy? Has anger overcome your tenderness?”
“Come O Lord, save us, O Lord, raise up your might, come to our help” (Psalm 44).

God listens to our lament, readies our hearts, and brings us to an advent of hope.
God is faithful to his promise. He comes. The reign of God has already begun, already visible in Jesus, the healer of our wounded planet.
He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth.
And with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked
The Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces. (Isaiah 11:4)

On that day it well be said: “Behold our God to whom
We looked to save us. Let us rejoice and be glad that he
Has saved us. (Isaiah 25:9)

“Ultimately we believe the Word of God full of grace and truth will prevail over every form of tyranny,
Whatever the violent discords of our time, peace will have the last word.” (Timothy Radcliffe, O.P.)

It is that peace I wish for all of us and a joyous Christmas with friends, family, and community.