The Basilica of Saint John the Evangelist

The Mother Church of Stamford • 279 Atlantic Street, Stamford, Connecticut 06901 • Phone: (203) 324-1553 • Fax: (203) 359-2660 • Email:

"This Advent give yourself a gift; quiet time with God. God is here – not in all the noise and activity, but in the quiet."

Each Day God Paints Me a Picture

by Susan L. Piening

Most mornings I get up early and sit with my tea and Kindle at the window overlooking the lake. I say my prayers, read and generally just enjoy the quiet. In the winter it is usually dark so there isn’t much to see at first, but as night turns to day, God paints me a picture.

As I watch the sun rise, the sky turns from gray to a pale blue with pink clouds streaking the sky and the mist gently rises from the lake. As the sun continues to rise, the golden light illuminates the bare trees and the water. The golden light is warming and reassuring, as is the morning routine of the birds and squirrels.

In these moments I feel God’s Presence and am filled with gratitude and humility. I forget myself in wonder and awe of God and the diversity and beauty of His creation. These are moments of surprise and are often rewarded with a smile or small laugh.

Advent is a time of preparation for the coming of our Lord. It is a time to prepare our hearts for God’s gift, His Son. This Advent give yourself a gift; quiet time with God. God is here – not in all the noise and activity, but in the quiet.

Start small – a few minutes in the morning. Look out a window, take a walk or find a quiet place and try to see the rhythm of day unfold; you may see nothing at first, but keep looking and you will discover small wonders. Talk to Him and maybe hear Him. Most days I don’t hear him, but I feel His Presence in the little everyday things. The sunrise, the flight of the birds, the laughter of children and little acts of kindness I witness during the day.

God is outside every window – in every moment of the day – we just have to stop and invite Him into our hearts and our day. And if you do, God will paint you a picture.

Merry Christmas.

Susan L. Piening, certified by the National Catholic Bioethics Center as a bioethicist, holds a Master’s of Science in Nursing from Columbia University, and a Master’s in Theology from Holy Apostles Seminary and College. A Nurse Midwife and the mother of three adult children, she is a former parishioner of the Basilica of St. John the Evangelist (who misses the parish since moving South!).