Advent: a season of war and longing

Advent concludes with the celebration of Christmas, it is true: but all through this season of expectation the Church reminds us that we are awaiting the Second Coming of Him, who was born in Bethlehem twenty centuries ago. She tells us that, as quiet as His first coming was in a manger, so great and glorious shall be His coming this second time, that it shall break the Earth.

Advent is a privileged season, in which the Church prayerfully reflects and longingly sighs for her Spouse, who is the Christ, the Glorious King, coming soon to judge the world.

Michelangelo_-_Fresco_of_the_Last_Judgement

The Church in Advent waits in joyful hope for the coming of her Savior, doing penance and making acts of reparation for past sins – her members’, and the sins of the world.

In her official public worship, the Church proclaims Christ the Lord of creation, and implores the protection of His merciful divinity from the insults of our old enemy, Satan, the Prince of Darkness, who, sensing that the time of his reign is nearing its end, increases his efforts to ensnare and enslave the children of God.

Advent is a season of war: it is a season of spiritual strife between the victorious forces of God, and the defeated though active and not yet utterly vanquished forces of the devil and his ranks of rebel angels.

In this preternatural struggle, the People of God cry out for deliverance with increasing intensity, and they do so in the voice, and with the prayers of ancient Israel, their elders in the faith, from whom the world first learned true religion.

The final seven days of Advent hear proclaimed the ancient O antiphons – the cry of the heart of the People of God: O SapientiaO Adonai! O Radix JesseO Clavis DavidO OriensO Rex Gentium! O Emmanuel!

We sigh in longing, so Mother Church teaches us, as a bride sighs for her bridegroom, we desire Him, and would have Him, and all of Him, and none but Him, and so great is our desire – the desire of the Church – that we would gladly trade the world and all that is in it for His kiss.

Ecce véniet Dóminus, princeps regum terræ; beáti qui paráti sunt occúrrere illi.

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