16th December – “The branches of Godliness are put up with devotion, pleasure and joy!” (4th verse of: Macht hoch die Tür)

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Yes, the green branches with which we decorate our rooms in Advent are signs of longing and hope for me. They remind me of the Advent season in my childhood.
Born in the Franconian Forest, I knew my way around our forest well. I knew where to find the most beautiful huckleberries and the best porcini mushrooms and chanterelles. I let my father show me the strongest and oldest pine tree, the king of the forest, which he spared when we built our new house.
Before the cold season began, the forest was brought to the house and into the house. The walls of my parents’ house, which was covered from top to bottom with slate, were additionally trimmed and protected with branches so that nothing would freeze in the cellar. We decorated every picture in the rooms with fragrant green branches and gathered every evening praying and singing around the Advent wreath that my mother had tied herself.
A lot has changed in the meantime – around us and in us – and not least also in the forest due to climate change. But the little green branches remain a sign of longing and hope – until today!

Sr. Ruth Reißig, CJ

Carla Bellone