Fr. Robert Barron popped into my inbox this morning (I subscribed to this daily Advent reflections! you can, too) with more to say about longing:
I’ve always sensed that the Advent attitudes of waiting, expecting, hoping, and anticipating somehow speak to the deepest desires of our heart. That is probably because our whole existence here below is characterized precisely by these attitudes.
The world is filled with wonderful things and experiences — deep joys and satisfactions. But we all know that nothing here finally satisfies us.
No matter how much we know, we want to know more; no matter how much we love, we want greater love; no matter how much beauty we attain, we sense that there is a perfect beauty that we haven’t seen.
“O come O come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel.” That great Advent hymn catches our ache. As we move into this season of anticipation, allow that ache to develop, preparing you for the satisfaction that will arrive only in Christ.
What an important time of year this is: To realize we are not complete without our Lord, Jesus Christ. We are in need of a Savior, and He comes!
Every day, with every sacrament and with every Advent, every Lent, every feast and gift of grace, may our knowledge of Christ in faith grow.
Confession is an important place to start, of course. And these next weeks can be about more than getting through shopping lists.
When we have become deeply aware of our sin, we know that we can cling to nothing in ourselves, that everything we offer is, to some degree, tainted and impure. We can’t show our cultural, professional, and personal accomplishments to God as though they are enough to save us.
But the moment we realize that fact, we move into the Advent spirit, desperately craving a Savior. We become ready for the last image from [Sunday]’s reading: “Yet, O Lord, you are our father; we are the clay and you are the potter: we are all the work of your hands.”
What a time this is! No time to waste.
Fr. Francis Fernandez also helps with the preparation work we set out on in his In Conversation with God:
let us consider how Mary received Jesus after the message of the angel. Let us ask her to teach us to communicate with the purity, humility and devotion with which she received Him in her most holy womb, with the spirit and fervor of the saints, even though we feel ourselves to be unworthy and insignificant.
It is good to ask Mary and all the saints to pray for us that we might grow in holiness as this Advent progresses.