Advent is traditionally considered a mini desert time, a time of preparation by simplification and reflection, somewhat different to the modern emphases in the weeks before Christmas
There is an ancient wisdom story from the desert fathers:
“Do not feed the heart what does not nourish the heart.”
We need to stop feeding the consumer machine, which tells us our worth by the newest gadget we have purchased, only to throw the last one in an ever-growing landfill. We need to stop perpetuating the cycles of violence by denouncing war but still letting our minds offer relentless judgments about the people we encounter every day.
We go off to our metaphorical deserts and wildernesses to really reevaluate our priorities.
Christine Valters Paintner