Thought for the Day – 13 December – Monday of the First week of Advent, Year A
The Season of Advent
Saint Charles Borromeo (1538-1584)
Bishop of Milan
An excerpt from A Pastoral Letter
Beloved, now is the acceptable time spoken of by the Spirit, the day of salvation, peace and reconciliation – the great season of Advent. This is the time eagerly awaited by the patriarchs and prophets, the time that holy Simeon rejoiced at last to see. This is the season that the Church has always celebrated with special solemnity. We too should always observe it with faith and love, offering praise and thanksgiving to the Father, for the mercy and love He has shown us in this mystery. In His infinite love for us, though we were sinners, He sent His only Son, to free us from the tyranny of Satan, to summon us to heaven, to welcome us into its innermost recesses, to show us truth itself, to train us in right conduct, to plant within us the seeds of virtue, to enrich us with the treasures of His grace and to make us children of God and heirs of eternal life.
Each year, as the Church recalls this mystery, she urges us to renew the memory of the great love God has shown us. This holy season teaches us, that Christ’s Coming was not only for the benefit of His contemporaries, His power has still to be communicated to us all. We shall share His power, if, through holy faith and the sacraments, we willingly accept the grace Christ earned for us and live by that grace and in obedience to Christ.
The Church asks us to understand that Christ, who came once in the flesh, is prepared to come again. When we remove all obstacles to His presence He will come, at any hour and moment, to dwell spiritually in our hearts, bringing with Him the riches of His grace.
In her concern for our salvation, our loving mother the Church uses this holy season to teach us through hymns, canticles and other forms of expression, of voice or ritual, used by the Holy Spirit. She shows us how grateful we should be for so great a blessing and, how to gain its benefit, our hearts should be as much prepared for the Coming of Christ as if He were still to come into this world. The same lesson, is given us for our imitation, by the words and example, of the holy men of the Old Testament.
Almighty and merciful God,
let neither, our daily work, nor the cares of this life,
prevent us from hastening to meet Your Son.
Enlighten us with Your wisdom
and lead us into His Company.
We make our prayer,
through Christ, our Lord,
with the Holy Spirit,
God forever, amen.