This session closes our Advent retreat, Sprigs of Rosemary—a retreat that can be adapted to any schedule and, certainly, can be used any time of the year. This final post recognizes that YOU are a temple of God, a home for God in the world, the ultimate sanctuary for the Divine.nativity

Advent leads us from the darkness of the womb to the light of Christ at Christmas. As we journey through the weeks, we circle the Advent wreath lighting a new candle each week—a reminder that our waiting ends, that Christ will come. But it can also set our intention to be a dwelling place for God, to remind ourselves that Christ is incarnated in us. “Sanctuary” by Maranatha Music is a prayerful reminder:

Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary
Pure and holy, tried and true
With thanksgiving, I’ll be a living
Sanctuary for You

Just as Mary surrenders, so must we.

christ is born in us.PNG

Using the text from St. John of the Cross, a 16th-century Carmelite priest, mystic and poet, contemplate what it means to let Christ take birth in us. 

Then, under the roof of your soul, 
you will witness the sublime intimacy, 
the divine, the Christ, taking birth forever, 
as she grasps your hand for help, 
for each of us is the midwife of God, each of us. 

advent prayer

To begin a creative session of journaling or collage, pray Blessing of the Body by Jan Richardson from the 2016 Women’s Christmas.

blessing the body

May your Christmas be blessed! May sprigs of rosemary be a reminder to seek sanctuary in the thin places, in silence, in your friendships, in the creativity of Lectio and Visio Divina, collage and journaling, and to be the sanctuary for the Divine.