When God gained a heart

If you’ve been following this blog long enough, you’ll probably know by now that my Advents normally have a theme to them, and this year is no different. I never choose a particular theme; they are, in a sense, inspired either by the current circumstances of my life or else a particular thought suggests itself (rather insistently) some days before the beginning of the season.

This year I would say Advent has a Johannine flavour to it, for two reasons. The first is that about a week or (perhaps a bit more) before the start of Advent the Prologue of the Gospel of St. John began to present itself to my thoughts more and more regularly. The second is the Sacred Heart, which for whatever reason caught my attention during the first few days of Advent (while not directly Johannine, one can make the connection, I think, between Our Lord’s Sacred Heart and the Beloved Disciple who leaned upon His breast). Concerning the Sacred Heart, I admit I have never followed the devotion, but the image of It is one impressed upon my mind from a very early age. Recently reading up on the devotion, I was delightfully surprised to discover that it is Adoration-related.

The shortening of days with the lengthening of nights, almost to the point of it seeming that daylight will be snuffed out, seems to fit well with the expectation of that Light which shines, darkness being unable to comprehend it. While He has already come, and still remains present in this world through and in His Church, we are still expecting His final coming. We are watching and waiting, with “fear and trembling”, for that day when He will “come to judge the living and the dead and the age by fire”. Read more

‘Tis the season to say “Yes”

While Advent is quickly coming to an end this year, with even the final Sunday being suppressed by the Vigil of the Nativity, I’ve been wondering of late why the Church presents to us during this season the veterotestamental figures of the prophets Sts. Isaiah and John the Forerunner as well as the Blessed Virgin Mary.

There is an obvious reason for this choice: the saints pointing directly to the coming Christ. St. John the Forerunner prepared the people of Israel, calling them to repentance in the imminent advent of the Christ; the Blessed Mother served as a worthy tabernacle to Our Lord; St. Isaiah prophesied the coming of the Messiah through both – “a virgin shall conceive” and “the voice of one crying in the desert”.

I would, however, venture another reason. These saints are chosen by the Church for this season, not only because they point so intimately to the advent of Christ, but also because of their unreserved “yes” to God, their immediate self-oblation to the Lord as soon as he requires them. Read more