Monday, December 6, 2010

Advent Reflection

"The liturgy of Advent…helps us to understand fully the value and meaning of the mystery of Christmas. It is not just about commemorating the historical event, which occurred some 2,000 years ago in a little village of Judea. Instead, it is necessary to understand that the whole of our life must be an ‘advent,’ a vigilant awaiting of the final coming of Christ. To predispose our mind to welcome the Lord who, as we say in the Creed, one day will come to judge the living and the dead, we must learn to recognize him as present in the events of daily life. Therefore, Advent is, so to speak, an intense training that directs us decisively toward him who already came, who will come, and who comes continuously."   Pope John Paul II, 2002 address

Until about six years ago I didn't know that the liturgical year ended with the feast of Christ the King in November.  Then the new year starts with Advent.   That means Advent becomes a sort of window of time between the start of the new liturgical year and the start of the new secular year in January.  I don't know if it was intended that way or not, but it means that I have a whole month to look back at the old and bring in the new.

I do know Advent is a season of waiting and stillness, though, and preparation, so it all fits together beautifully with the birth of our Lord and the silent action of St Joseph and Our Lady.

And in a bigger sense, of course, Advent is a precursor of the Second Coming, when liturgy will become manifest in secular history once more.     So in that sense, each Advent is essentially a step towards that larger Advent. 

A few posts from around the web:
  1. Recipe for Readiness (Msr Charles Pope)
  2. The Slow Advent Movement (The Wine-Dark Sea)
  3. Advent Guilt?  Let it Go! (Michele Quigley)
  4. Advent Silence and Our Poor Goblets (The Anchoress)
  5. Advent Quotes of the Day at Love2Learn
  6. Free Catholic Bible Study on Matthew starting now
  7. Advent is a season of hope ... what if there is little hope? (at Catholic Spiritual Direction)

"O Father may that Holy Star
Grow every year more bright,
And send its glorious beams afar
To fill the world with light."
William Cullen Bryant

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