Vespers for 1st Monday in Advent

"Advent" does not mean "expectation" as some may think. It is a translation of the Greek word parousia, which means "presence" or, more accurately, "arrival," i.e. the beginning of a presence. In antiquity the word was a technical term for the presence of a king or ruler and also of the god being worshipped, who bestows his parousia upon his devotees for a time. "Advent", then, means a presence begun, the presence being that of God. -- Pope Benedict XVI, Dogma and Preaching (from the … [Read more...]

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Advent; Feel the Kiss

Exhale; Look Up; Feel the KissEvery year has its days of clenched teeth and weeks of held-in breaths. Finally in Advent, we can exhale and look up in wonder rather than in supplication. Like a shepherd tired from the day’s rounding and believing that tomorrow brings nothing new, we look up and - gasp! – the star! The angels! The Incarnation - the Creator come down to us, not to watch or to direct, but to inhabit and to serve. How can we not marvel?Indeed. In his lowly, vulnerable bir … [Read more...]

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Advent: The Coming of Love

Day OneWhy Advent? What’s the point?I have been asked that more than once, particularly by my Evangelical friends: why do Catholics and others, put so much stock in “ritualistic” sorts of things not explicitly spelled out in scripture – things like Advent, and its trappings - the purple vestments, the Advent wreaths and such. “Jesus came once for all, he doesn’t keep coming,” one woman said. “Christmas is a wonderful season. Why do you need a whole Advent season, too? What’s the point?" … [Read more...]

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