In my Advent this year, so far I find much more darkness than light. Maybe this will make the experience of Israel waiting for the Messiah a little closer to me. When lack of strength and hope creeps into life, longing becomes natural. You want to cry to God that salvation may come at last. He always responds to that call, but almost always quite differently than we might expect.
One of the small joys that I have at this time is checking my advent tea calendar every day, where I find not only inspirations of tastes, but also sometimes spiritual ones. One day, seeing the tea called “Arctic Fire”, I immediately thought of paradoxes about God: power in weakness, life in death, infinity in limitations … It was only recently in a lecture on Christology that I learned that it is actually called “sub contrario “- bordering on contradiction . These contradictions, however, only arise in our limited human thinking. Everything is coherent and inclusive for God. There is already light in the darkness.
On the same day, I read the words of Tomas Merton:
“When the time comes to enter the darkness in which we are naked and helpless and alone; in which we see the insufficiency of our greatest strength and the hollowness of our strongest virtue; in which we have nothing to rely on, and nothing in our nature to support us, and nothing in the world to guide us or give us light—then we find out whether or not we walk by faith.”
Now it was all clear. Darkness is grace.