Cloisters of Saint John Lateran, Rome. Source:

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

The Mystery Of Advent. Part One.

Text taken from The Liturgical Year by Abbot Gueranger, O.S.B.
(Translated from the French by Dom Laurence Shepherd, O.S.B.)
Advent. Volume 1. St. Bonaventure Publications,
Originally published 1949.
Republished by St. Bonaventure Publications, July 2000.

Illustrations are taken from Wikipedia - the free encyclopaedia,
unless otherwise stated.

Advent wreath. 
First Sunday of Advent.
Photo: November 2008.
Source: Own work.
Author: Micha L. Rieser.
(Wikimedia Commons)

The Mystery of Advent

If, now that we have described the characteristic features of Advent which distinguish it from the rest of The Liturgical Year, we would penetrate into the profound Mystery which occupies the mind of The Church during this Season, we find that this Mystery of the Coming, or Advent, of Jesus is at once simple and threefold.

It is simple, for it is the one same Son of God that is Coming; it is threefold, because He comes at three different times and in three different ways.

'In the First Coming,' says Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, 'He comes in The Flesh and in Weakness; in the Second, He comes in Spirit and in Power; in the Third, He comes in Glory and in Majesty; and the Second Coming is the means whereby we pass from The First to The Third.' [Fifth Sermon for Advent.]

Deutsch: Weihnachtsbeleuchtung der Hauptstraße 
in Remshalden-Geradstetten, Deutschland; Nachtaufnahme.
English: Christmas Lighting 
Photo: January 2008.
Source: Own work.
Author: Wildfeuer.
(Wikimedia Commons)

This, then, is the Mystery of Advent. Let us now listen to the explanation of this threefold visit of Christ, given to us by Peter of Blois, in his third Sermon de Adventu: 'There are three Comings of Our Lord; the First in The Flesh; the Second in The Soul; the Third at The Judgement.

The First was at Midnight, according to those words of the Gospel: At Midnight, there was a cry made, Lo the Bridegroom Cometh ! But this First Coming is long since past, for Christ has been seen on the Earth and has conversed with men.

English: Illuminated Christmas Tree for the “Quiet Advent” on the Johannes-Brahms-Promenade, Western Bay, in Pörtschach am Wörthersee, District Klagenfurt Land, Carinthia, Austria.
Deutsch: Erleuchteter Weihnachtsbaum für „Stiller Advent“ an der Johannes-Brahms-Promenade, West-Bucht in Pörtschach am Wörthersee, Bezirk Klagenfurt Land, Kärnten, Österreich
Photo: December 2011.
Source: Own work.
Author: Johann Jaritz.
(Wikimedia Commons)

We are now in the Second Coming, provided only we are such as that He may thus come to us; for He has said that if we love Him, He will come unto us and will take up His abode with us. So that this Second Coming is full of uncertainty to us: For who, save The Spirit of God, knows them that are of God ?

They that are raised out of themselves by the desire of Heavenly things, know indeed when He Comes; but whence He Cometh, or whither He Goeth, they know not.


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