Reflection on Advent Retreat with Bishop Donald Hying
continue at Imprisoned in My Bones
This Advent I treated myself to an afternoon retreat of Reflections on the Advent Gospels with Bishop Hying at St. Joseph’s Parish in Wauwatosa. It was a bittersweet occasion in which I had an opportunity to learn from a spiritual giant and a beautiful friend, in person, one more time, before he leaves Milwaukee to become the Bishop of Gary, Indiana on January 6th. I felt compelled to take notes so I wouldn’t miss one bit of his wisdom. I've certainly learned an awful lot from him in the past seven years that I've been blessed with his friendship and I'm hopeful that I'll continue to reap many spiritual benefits from all that he has taught me over the years. What I’ve gleaned from his Advent talk follows.
Bp. Hying insisting on doing dishes
Being Present to Now
Bishop Hying often speaks of St. Bernard’s Three Advents: the Advent when we prepare for Christ’s birth, the Advent when we prepare for the final coming of Christ and the Advent of the Present Moment. He said that it’s easy to always be somewhere else in our mind and not to be fully engaged with where we are. But it’s essential that we try to focus on the present because this moment will never come again. We’ll never be in this same particular place with these same particular people again. The greatest enemy of the spiritual life is the intensity of the stimulation around us. The secret of the saints is that they were profoundly engaged in the present moment. It’s in the present moment that God speaks to us. On Mount Horeb God doesn’t tell Moses, “I was” or “I will be”. He says “I AM.”