Thursday, December 3, 2009

Advent musings

"It is important to remember the deep, in some ways anguished seriousness of Advent, when the mendacious celebrations of our marketing culture so easily harmonize with our tendency to regard Christmas, consciously or otherwise, as a return to our own innocence and our own infancy ...
"But the Church, in preparing us for the birth of a "great prophet", a savior and a king of peace, has more in mind than seasonal cheer. The Advent mystery focuses the light of faith upon the very meaning of life, of history, of man, of the world and of our own being. In Advent we celebrate the coming and indeed in some ways the presence of Christ in our world."
(from "Seasons Of Celebration")

"If we accept God's revelation of Himself in the infant of Bethlehem. we must also recognize that this acceptance has grave consequences for our lives. It means accepting One for whom there is no room in the 'inn' of an excited and distraught world. We see this in the disturbing symbol of that census which brings 'the whole world' into the books of the Roman imperial power. If we accept this infant as our God, then we accept our own obligations to grow with Him in our world of arrogant power and travel with Him as he ascends to Jerusalem and the Cross, which is the denial of power."
(from "Love And Living")

HT to Frank G. for these quotes.

2 comments:

  1. I've been asked to contribute ideas for a service this month with the motif of God "coming down" viz. love coming down at Advent. When I heard coming down I thought of the expression in terms of danger "let it come down". That's some of what I get from this piece by Merton. We tend to get irresponsible around Christmas because of the culture. He wants to remind us of a "terrible" responsibility inherent in the journey that begins with us and Christ. There's a paradox there: the innocence of the newborn babe and the awakening to "the world".

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  2. thanks for this, Gunter. When you think about it, being born into the world can be terrifying. You've got to BREATHE/BE or else!

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