23 December 2004

Various and sundry late Advent thoughts

Christmas is almost here!

I’m spending it in a monastery, which many people seem to think is a
bit odd.  But if you regard it as a religious holiday, it’s not
THAT odd, I think.

I sent out cards today.  Almost all of them.  I figure that
since Christmas is 12 days long, they’ll arrive during Christmas.

One nice thing that I have become reacquainted with in the monastery is
the value of silence.  The SSJE brothers do not have a vow of
silence, but they do try to keep a quiet atmosphere.  And so one
doesn’t have to talk very much if one doesn’t want to.  And it’s
something of a relief not to have to interact with people
verbally.  But it forces you to deal with them more intimately, by
looking at their face and their eyes (which I think we can often avoid
in day-to-day life and work), and seeing what’s written there.

May you have a Merry Christmas, full of light, peace, and joy.

And I’ll be back in a few days.

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2 Responses to “Various and sundry late Advent thoughts”

  1. j Says:

    Merry Christmas, Nate!

    I like your thoughts about Christmas cards arriving within the twelve days of Christmas. That’s what my holiday cards and a few packages are doing this year. I was so focused on them being late I hadn’t thought about the twelve days of Christmas. Thanks for the idea! I feel a lot better about my slackness now. = )

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Hope you had a good Christmas, and that your stay in the monastery was a beneficial one.

    I don’t think it’s odd at all, BTW. And actually I think a lot of people would understand the desire to get completely away from the world for a little while, if they thought about it.