Advent: Preparing a Crib in the Heart

” This morning as I dressed, a practice from my childhood days flashed into my mind. I think it was Sister Emily who started us on in the fourth grade. We were to prepare a place for Jesus in our hearts. So many masses made a gold bedstead; so many communions a fluffy down mattress. Other practices produced sheets, blankets, pillows, etc. The central thing – and I forget what it did, was to pray four thousand times – one for each year Adam’s son had waited, the prayer: ‘Jesus, son of Mary, come and take birth in my heart.’ Thus, Advent became for us a time of constant prayer.”

M. Basil Pennington, OCSO, in “Jubilee, A Monk’s Journal

This Advent, will you have time to prepare a crib for the child Jesus ? Or, will you, like the people during Jesus’s time, have no place in the inn within your heart?