The brilliant ravishing autumn foliage of autumn has vanished, and the trees stand stark and bare. In early winter I delight in gazing upon the sunset through the elaborate patterns of branches that partition the pink sky like the elegant tracery of a stained glass window.
The trees, with their bare branches reaching quietly toward the sky, toward the dying sunset light, seem to share in the pleading of our Advent Prayer: Come, Lord Jesus, come.
Early Christians traditionally prayed with their arms out stretched toward heaven, from where the Lord was expected to come again. The bare trees with their branches outstretched is a symbolic reminder for the monk and for all Christians, especially during this Advent journey, that we, too, must gaze at all times toward him with deep yearning.
A Monastery Journey to Christmas
Br. Victor-Antione D'Avila-Latourrette