During Advent, we meditate on the Second Coming of Christ as well as the first. In the book of Revelation, it says: “And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” I could not help but think of what Christ’s face will look like when we are presented to Him as His bride when I looked at these photos. May they be a meditation for you of the pure love of your Bridegroom: 24 grooms seeing their brides for the first time. So great is His love for you.
For the past few Advents, I have pulled the same book off the shelf to read: The Coming of God by Maria Boulding. It is, by far, the meatiest book I have ever read for Advent. She goes right to the heart of the reason for this season: longing for God–and that longing being indisputable evidence of the prior longing of God for us.
Here are the opening paragraphs of the book:
If you want God, and long for union with him, yet sometimes wonder what that means or whether it can mean anything at all, you are already walking with the God who comes. If you are at times so weary and involved with the struggle of living that yo have no strength even to want him, yet are still dissatisfied that you don’t, you are already keeping Advent in your life. If you have ever had an obscure intuition that the truth of things is somehow better, greater, more wonderful than you deserve or desire, that the touch of God in your life stills you by its gentleness, that there is a mercy beyond anything you could ever suspect, you are already drawn into the central mystery of salvation.
Your hope is not a mocking dream: God creates in human hearts a huge desire and a sense of need, because he wants to fill them with the gift of himself. It is because his self-sharing love is there first, forestalling any response or prayer from our side, that such hope can be in us. WE cannot hope until we know, however obscurely, that there is something to hope for; if we have had no glimpse of a vision, we cannot conduct our lives with vision. And yet we do: there is hope in us, and longing, because grace was there first. God’s longing for us is the spring of ours for him.
So take a moment, look for that desire in your heart however buried it might seem, and simply say, “Come.”
January 31, 2002
“Simply by making us wait he increases our desire, which in turn enlarges the capacity of our soul, making it able to receive what is to be given to us.” (St. Augustine)
From the beginning of , Amazing Nearness, by the author of The Gift of Faith, Fr. Tadeusz Dajczer:
In my daily life, I am constantly getting lost. Yet that means He can constantly find me. The more I need Him, the closer He is. I can ceaselessly discover that in weariness He sought me. This means loving until weary. Because of Original Sin He constantly searches for us to the point of weariness and exhaustion, humanly speaking.
In the Eucharistic encounter, Jesus regularly finds me quite lost. Yet, I am normally lost, needing to be found. So no need for regrets. If I am lost I can only be found in Eucharistic love. He can only find me when I am lost and beginning to search for Him. Love needs two. It is a grace always given to me to seek Him through faith, hope, and love.
Fr. Dajczer is here making a reference to the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman in John 4. “Jesus, wearied as he was with his journey, sat down beside the well.” Augustine points out that Jesus is weary because He is on a journey to seek us each out. He is thirsty for our faith. He knows that we are lost and constantly sets out to find us. If you feel lost today, take heart that He is seeking you and looking for you. Let yourself be found by Him.
In comparison with this big world, the human heart is only a small thing. Though the world is so large, it is utterly unable to satisfy this tiny heart. Man’s ever-growing soul and its capacities can only be satisfied in the infinite God. As water is restless until it reaches its level, so the soul has not peace until it rests in God. (Sadhu Sundar Singh)