“If you have stuffed yourself with worldly satisfactions, then it is no wonder that you have no taste for spiritual delights.” (De Sales, Introduction to the Devout Life, p. 414)
We don’t much like to deny ourselves. We live in a time when we can do or have just about anything we want at any time of day. And quiet? What is that? How many of us seek out a quiet place for a time each day, where we can actually pray, think, meditate, contemplate, and breathe?
Advent invites us into a time of darkness, waiting, expectation, and even penance. It is not Christmas yet. It is not time to stuff ourselves “with worldly satisfactions” (despite what society encourages).
No, it is a time of refraining, holding back, discovering our patience, and exploring our weaknesses and brokenness so that we may more clearly discern our need for Christ—the light who is coming.
Just as we cannot taste the subtle natural sweetness of a ripe peach if it is immersed in syrup, neither can we taste spiritual delights when we are stuffed from banqueting on the world: entertainment, technology, media, politics, materialism.
Let us retreat. Let us find quiet. Let us sacrifice some of our fullness and comfort so that when Christmas comes, we are prepared to feast on what is truly nourishing.