This Random Nun Clip is from Ask Sister podcast 150. Hear the full episode at AS150.
SISTER MAXINE: What is one of your favorite parts of Advent, maybe like a favorite scripture passage or song or such things?
SISTER JULIE: The one that I chose is Isaiah chapter 9 verse 2: “The people walking in darkness are seeing a brilliant light. Upon those who dwell in a land of deep shadows light is shining.” For those of you who have tuned in to Praying With The Sisters, I will always remark on scripture where it has that interplay between darkness and light. That’s such a powerful theme for me, not as two things that are opposed to each other but two things that can exist side by side with each other. And in this passage, it says that “people walking in darkness are seeing a brilliant light” and you have darkness and light happening at exactly the same time. It’s not saying the darkness is now gone because the light is here, it’s saying that these two things can exist with each other and so Advent is so filled with that kind of metatheme for me of being able to hold light and darkness together as one.
SISTER MAXINE: And I like that idea of them being together. There’s sort of a harmony of opposites there versus a conflict of opposites. To know that two things, that are seemingly polar opposites really are very harmonious.
SISTER JULIE: You know, sometimes darkness gets a bad rap. Darkness is sometimes equated to the thing that is difficult or the thing of turning away from God or of God not feeling like God is there but I find darkness to be kind of refreshing sometimes. Sometimes I think about Chloe the convent cat where one of her greatest desires is to go into the corner of the closet and just sort of sit and be kind of in her own zone. I mean she loves being in the light when the light is shining in as well but I think sometimes that darkness can be a welcome space.
SISTER MAXINE: I would agree and as I look to the Advent season and those kinds of themes, light and dark, I have one that has a reference to light, to the moon. It’s from one of the psalms 72 verse 7. And it says: “Justice will flower through the days in profound peace until the moon be no more.” The context is what it is to be a good leader, and so it brings in the notions of peace and justice that are as long-lasting as the moon.
SISTER JULIE: Well it’s interesting that you should bring that up. The whole peace of Advent that has to also do with a leader being born among us and that leadership, probably one of the most important skills or characteristics of a leader is to have that spirit of peace and justice and so that’s a beautiful theme to pull out.
SISTER MAXINE: And it reminds us all of our own leadership, you know, all of us in our own ways have that so-to-say God-given capacity to be a leader. It may not be the same for one of us as for the other of us, thank God for that diversity, but we all have that. We all have the capacity to live out that spirit of justice to help bring about peace. A wonderful thing.
SISTER JULIE: Amen to that.
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