“Prepare Him Room”

In the days leading up to Christmas, everything in the liturgy, prayer and life in the convent seems to cry out in Advent Silence “Prepare Him Room!” We do this literally as we prepare little shrines where we will bring “Joseph and Mary” as they pilgrimage to Bethlehem. Gathering candles and material, we sisters work in small teams to decorate our little shrines throughout the convent (chapel, refectory, recreation room). The shrines are simple and the most significant thing about them is that there is an open space so that, when the pilgrim statues arrive, they have a place. When you walk into the room the shrine is obviously ‘incomplete’…something is missing. But the shrine is simultaneously perfect. Perfect because a space has been carved out to RECEIVE. These little shrines, for me, have become an Advent reminder of how my heart must be always open and receptive to accept the grace and presence of Jesus Christ, my beloved Lord. For nine days, we journey from shrine to shrine, constantly reminded that this life is a pilgrimage and that, through the everyday things of life (phone calls, appointments, prayer time) we are called to trust, like St Joseph and Mary, that Jesus comes to us always if only we prepare Him room.

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