By Tammy Townsend Denny, TI Executive Director
My husband and I recently treated ourselves to reservations at a new restaurant. We thought it would be nice to enjoy some conversation over a plate of tacos after a long week. Maybe a bowl of guacamole if we were feeling extravagant.
The reality proved to be a bit different.
When we arrived, we discovered the restaurant was loud, crowded, and dark -- that level of darkness that makes it hard to read a menu. Most diners seemed half our age. A live DJ blasted music in one corner. Performers in Day of the Dead costumes strolled among the tables while servers brought out flaming plates of food and drinks.
Quiet, intimate, simple, it was not.
This misguided date night comes to mind as Advent approaches (Sunday, December 3). While I like to think of Advent as a month-long date with God where we make plans to hang out and talk, maybe over a plate of tacos and guacamole, the reality is rarely the quiet intimacy I had planned.
Too often I allow my life to become too loud and too crowded with holiday preparations that I leave little space for quiet time with God.
It is this noisy distraction that is addressed in the Ascension Press video series Rejoice: An Advent Pilgrimage into the Heart of Scripture. The series features Fr. Mark Toups from the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, Louisiana; Fr. Josh Johnson from the Diocese of Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and Sr. Josephine Garrett, a Sister of the Holy Family of Nazareth. (Sr. Josephine offered a presentation on community and commitment to Theresians on June 24, 2023. You can watch a recording of her presentation here.)
In the first Rejoice video offered below, Fr. Mark, Fr. Josh, and Sr. Josephine talk about the importance of silence, perceptions of silence, and obstacles to silence. If you are unable to watch the entire 28-minute video, please consider watching Sr. Josephine’s three-minute message that can be found at the 11:50 minute mark in the video.
Each week through Advent, we will be sharing these Rejoice videos with you. A journal is mentioned in the video and is available for purchase through various online booksellers (options are available here). The journal is NOT needed to enjoy the program.
Please join with me this Advent in finding time for silence and simplicity. Maybe we can even find some time for tacos with God this holiday season!