Advent is a time of both light and darkness, and both are holy. As Louis Armstrong sings, “I see the bright blessed day / The dark sacred night / And I think to myself / What a wonderful world.” But there are two kinds of darkness. There’s the darkness that shelters dreams, seeds in the Earth, and babies in the womb. It’s the darkness of the midnight-blue sky during long winter nights. The other kind of darkness is terrifying. It’s the darkness of hatred and war, of fear of each other and isolation. It’s the darkness that disdains life itself. In the Incarnation, God became human, plunging into both kinds of darkness, and showing us how to love the sacred kind and resist the destructive kind. This Advent, let’s follow Jesus into the darkness, resisting in ourselves and our world whatever smothers embers of life and love, and welcoming the dark womb that gives birth to light and life.
Mara Faulkner, OSB