Advent Listening with Clogged Ears


For the past ten days, I’ve been walking around with a stopped up left ear. Like a sink in need of Roto-Rooter, it gargles, whistles, thumps, hums, but never clears.

When I mentioned this to my daughter Michelle, she wisely pointed out,

“Sounds like an Advent thing to me, Mom.”

So I took her words to heart. I have been pondering in my prayer and throughout the day on Advent, listening, ears, awareness. Waiting for some sage insight.

And I’ve got nothing.


No matter how much I try, I can’t have true silence or complete quiet for reflection and clarity. The humming in my ear never stops, even when the gurgling and thumping do. I want it taken care of right now so that the Advent and Christmas music I love won’t sound like a middle school orchestra is playing it. And yes, if I could I would put in one of those metal snakes that go deep underground to clear my pipes and get everything flowing smoothly again.


But instead, I have to waitWait for the antibiotic to heal. Wait for the congestion to clear. Wait for the music to sound on key once again.

Like a pregnant woman, I anticipate in trusting expectation the miracle I know will take place. But in the meantime, my body is off key, bloated, uncomfortable—and I’m ready to be done with this temporary moment in my life. I wait, and I anticipate.

Perhaps I am in the spirit of Advent after all.

Copyright 2012 María de Lourdes Ruiz Scaperlanda


About Author

María Ruiz Scaperlanda writes regularly at DAY BY DAY WITH MARIA: María is an award-winning author, journalist, and retreat facilitator. Her books include, “The Seeker’s Guide to Mary,” “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Mary of Nazareth,” and “The Journey: a Guide for the Modern Pilgrim,” co-authored with her husband of 33 years, Michael. María has been published broadly in the U.S. Catholic Press, traveling on international assignments in Central America and the Caribbean, Israel, Turkey, Jordan, and throughout Europe. Perhaps her favorite assignment was covering Pope John Paul II’s historic visit to her native country, Cuba. María and Michael reside in Norman, Oklahoma. They have four adult children, and are expecting their sixth grandchild!

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