Other than casual interaction, the first real conversation that takes place in the film “Of Gods And Men” occurs fifteen minutes into the movie.

The exchange between Brother Luc, a lay brother of the Trappist Abbey of Our Lady of Atlas, and a young Algerian woman from the village of Tibhirine may at first seem irrelevant to the drama the film is about to unfold. But, in fact, the conversation sets the direction for the entire film.

The young woman asks the 82-year-old brother:

How do you know when you’re in love.

It is an interesting expression “in love.” What does it mean to be “in love”? How can I be “in” something I cannot see, hear, touch, taste, smell, measure, weigh, or in any way calibrate?

This is the mystery of the Incarnation. The world and our lives are “in” something intangible. We exist in an energy stream of life that Christian tradition calls “love” and which Christians believe we see fully embodied in the person whose birth we are preparing to honour.

The Advent question is, How do I open more deeply to an awareness of that love that permeates all of life? How can I soften to the invisible presence that in Jesus I am shown manifesting in physical, tangible form?

What is it going to cost me to open more deeply to the presence of this mysterious power we call “love”? What may I need to surrender in order to give myself more fully and deeply to the power of love?

Am I willing to ask such difficult questions? Am I willing to follow as fully as the monks of Tibhirine the call of the voice of love wherever it may lead?

Throughout this season of Advent, I commit to seeking to be more sensitive to the moving of love and to being more conscious of those forces that lead me away from love. I long to allow my heart to soften and open to this life-giving force that I may live more fully as the person I was created to be as a child created in the image of Love.