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Day 26: Quiet

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Editor’s Note: On this twenty-sixth day of our Advent blog series “Hidden Joys,” FMS’ Program Director Emily Norton shares a poem she wrote about the holy waiting, quiet, and sacred preparation of a personal Advent season she is experiencing in her life right now.

How stunned I am

As I realize God’s invitation for me

A personal Advent season

During this life journey of mine

Similar to the December one, 

There are temptations to become lost

              “to do” lists galore 

               logistical gymnastics

               lots and lots of details

All disguising the true way forward!

Mental chatter that goes on and on…and on

“I should”s morph into beastly “I need to”s


              Quiet the mind

              Quiet the internal expectations

              Quiet the societal pressures

Beautiful spaces glisten in their places 

Spaces to sit and be


              Awaken the heart

              Awaken the divine in-dwelling

              Awaken the deep well of true wisdom

There I rediscover my true invitation

My personal Advent

A sacred season of my life

              of sacramental preparation

              of holy waiting

              of wonder

Like Mary’s original “advent,”

God invites me into complete unknown

              no date

              no location

              no known specifics

The only known I need is the one I have

The incredible gift of God’s unconditional love

               strengthening me

               comforting me

               guiding me

Into the unknown territory, into mystery

I quiet my mind again and again … and again

To awaken my heart

And prepare my soul for unifying wholeness

I try to let go of my fears,

As I discern the Holy Spirit’s leadings

And trust!

              Trust in the Trinity

              Trust in the Divine Mystery that beckons

              Trust in the beauty of the journey that awaits

It is there where Love’s joys hide


Reflection: While the Advent season is coming to a close and Christmas is nearing, take time to reflect on how God might be inviting you to see Advent as a metaphor for your life right now? What part of your life do you need to embrace with a sense of holy waiting and sacred preparation? How might Mary be a teacher for you as you prayerfully approach this life season?

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Former Programs Manager Emily Norton has worked at various local, national, and international NGOs, all of which shared her goal of serving marginalized populations and promoting social justice. Latin America holds a special spot in Emily’s heart, and she has studied and served in Mexico, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Peru, and Ecuador. Her time on mission living simply in an intentional community, focused on ministry of presence, and living in solidarity with the poor was transformational for her. Emily was a wonderful guide and advocate for Franciscan Mission Service lay missioners through the application process, formation, overseas service, and re-entry. Emily is a proud native of Portland, Oregon, and a proud Bucknellian (i.e. she graduated from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA), who loves learning about different cultures, exploring new places, being active and going on spontaneous adventures.