Advent Journal: Day 1

annunciation_Simone Martini

{The posts here have grown far too timely and topical of late.  For the duration of Advent, I will only be posting my meditations upon Sacred Scripture, and my other spiritual readings.  —Alypius}

For all the world in woe was wound
Until he crept into our kin, –
A lovely girl he lit within,
The worthiest that ever was,
And shed his blood for our sin:
And therefore, Deo Gracias.

—”In a church where I did kneel”

And the abbot Macarius again said, “if in desiring to rebuke anyone thou art thyself moved to anger, thou dost satisfy thine own passion; in saving another, lose not thyself.”

Sayings of the Desert Father, ed. Ward, p.77

Watch ye therefore, (for you know not when the lord of the house cometh: at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning,)

Lest coming on a sudden, he find you sleeping.

And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch.

—The Gospel According to Mark, 13:35-37

One of my goals this Advent is to focus my thoughts on the person of Christ for minutes at a stretch.  It is one of those things you always mean to do, and never get around to doing.  You are all anticipation, or supposed to be, in Advent, as I suppose you are to be in your whole life as a Christian, yet never are.  We wait for a king:  no democratic leveling will quench our desire for the infinite.  We desire to taste, and we cannot of our own accord do so.  He must come to us.  And so we wait, and watch.

I have been of late possessed of a critical spirit, of the kind that many people engaged in intellectual pursuits often are.  To criticize, to show the sloppiness of others’ thinking, is a path to advancement in the academic world, and a way of demonstrating one’s prowess.  When Christ came, this was already the default mindset of those who ruled the Greco-Roman world.  He came, a peasant by all accounts, born in dubious circumstances.  A mother pregnant before marriage, a Jewish man in a far flung Roman empire.  What do I know of the joy of his coming?

He performed miracles.  He taught the people.   He was crucified.  He was buried.  He rose from the dead.  He ascended into heaven.  This is a story peasants would tell, I suppose.  But then noblemen believed, and men more holy than I as well.  I want Him to come.  I desire his power to save, to remove the stain of sin from my heart, and to heal the great wounds of mankind.   As he healed the leper, as he gave sight to the blind, as he granted eternal life to the thief, so I desire he should do for us, for those who love him.

Christ the power to judge, to transform the world.  So, so long ago, yet so very near.  Terrible, terrible things are within my soul, mad, horrific things…but he is there too.  But not yet forever.  Too, too fond, too gravely, deceptively evil, the temptation to try and save myself.  So I must wait.  Though it feels like 2,000 years already, I must wait.  Hoping and waiting, this is the life of a Christian, between fulfillment and despair—still watching, in hope, for a glimpse of the King.

~ by Alypius on December 4, 2017.

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