It was in Advent, 1958, that I first attended a silent Retreat, and first allowed myself to become submerged in the flow of sacred reality around me For the first time, I found myself spending long periods of time sitting quietly in church with no service in progress, just sitting and soaking
up the tangible sense of a silent presence.
If you think that was odd behavior for a sixteen-year old, you should know that I was used to sitting for hours in the woods listening for the sound of a deer’s approach. Listening for God isn’t that much different, except that you don’t wear blaze orange and you don’t have the intention of shooting God if given the opportunity.
In Advent we are “hunting” for God, and, amazingly, God comes “hunting” for us. The
hunter becomes the hunted, stalked by a ghostly presence. Yet this powerful hunter is the most
gentle of predators, the kindest of adversaries. To be swallowed by God is the happiest of fates.
To be ambushed by God is to cast out all fear. To be preyed upon by God is the epitome of
prayer. To die with God is to be reborn with Christ at Bethlehem, in Michigan, or in Paradise.