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In these quiet days following the festivities of Christmas Eve, a quote has been nudging at me. I received it from the Shalem Institute (the institute for spiritual formation where I did my spiritual guidance program). The quote reads:

“May our slowing down this Advent be our gentle protest against the violence of our rushing world. May our slowing down give quiet, steady witness to the values of attentiveness, carefulness, patience, receptivity, stillness. May our slowing down enable us to make real and meaningful connections with people, nature, work, art, and (most importantly) with God.”
- Melannie Svoboda

This is what I’m taking with me from our Advent journey into Christmastide and the new year. I love the connections the author makes between slowing down and the spiritual values of carefulness, patience, receptivity and stillness. It’s these values that allow us to slow down enough to cherish the gift of God among us.

[Image from St. Martin in the Fields, London, U.K. an outdoor sculpture by Michael "Mike" Chapman. The opening text from the Gospel of John is inscribed around the sculpture: "In the beginning was the word and the word became flesh and lived among".]