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Memories of Advents Past PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Sunday, 16 December 2007 20:13
This Thursday, December 20, will mark the 20th anniversary of my reception into the Church. As some of you already know, Mark Shea and I were received into the Church in 1987 on 10 days notice. We had missed an appointment with a sweet old Redemptorist pastor who was afraid that two souls had slipped through his fingers when it really was our mistake. O happy fault! Mark and I leapt at the opportunity so our memories of entering are those of Advent and Christmas, not Easter.

Eight years ago during Advent, I told (and we taped) the story of my conversion before a small group at Blessed Sacrament in Seattle. I listened to the cd again (The Making of a Bi-Cultural Christian) today as a way of meditating upon the ways God has led me to this point. Since several of the major spiritual turning points in my life have occurred during Advent, I thought I’d share some of the Christmasy bits.

On my memories of my first Christmas after my conversion as an undergrad:

That Christmas, I was like Ebeneezer Scrooge on Christmas morning. I was delirious. I remember going around from Salvation Army kettle to Salvation Army kettle, stuffing $20 bills in every one of them.

And on Christmas Eve – don’t ask me how I got this idea in my head – I went out at midnight, certain that all the bells in the city would ring. Nothing. Silence. Dead silence.

And I thought “Sherry, have you ever, in your life, heard the bells ring on Christmas Eve at midnight?” The answer was “No!”. Why did I expect it now? But they should be ringing! It was like Dylan Thomas’s famous poem A Child’s Christmas in Wales. Thomas writes “the bells the children hear are inside them.” I was projecting my own inner “bells” on the universe.

Enjoy this picture of Swansea's beautiful bay (Dylan Thomas's birth place) where I once lived and about which "A Child's Christmas" was written.

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