Sunday, November 27, 2005


ADVENT is both a beginning and an end, an alpha and an omega of the church's year of grace. Too often considered merely a season of preparation for the annual commemoration of Christ's birth, this rich and many-layered season is actually designed to prepare the Christian for the glorious possibilities of the parousia. It is a season of longing expectation-"Come, Lord Jesus" (Revelation 22:20).--William G. Storey

ADVENTUS" is the exact Christian Latin equivalent of the Greek "parousia."--H.A. Reinhold

NOBODY knows exactly how Advent started, but the custom is very ancient. In his History of the Franks, St. Gregory of Tours wrote that one of his predecessors, St. Perpetuus, who held the see around 480, decreed a fast three times a week from the feast of St. Martin, November 11, until Christmas. In 567, the Second Council of Tours en-joined monks to fast from the beginning of December until Christmas. This penance was soon extended to the laity and was pushed back to begin on St. Martin's Day. This 45-day Advent was nicknamed "St. Martin's Lent." From France the practice of doing penance during Advent spread to England as is noted in Venerable Bede's history.--Hubert Dunphy

EXClTA, quaesumus Domine, potentiam tuam, et veni.
Summon all your strength, a Lord, and come.--Monastic Liturgy

OUR time is a time of waiting; waiting is its special destiny. And every time is a time of waiting, waiting for the breaking in of eternity. All time runs forward. All time, both history and in personal life, is expectation. Time itself is waiting, waiting not for another time, but for that which is eternal.--Paul Tillich

ETERNITY is in love with the production of time.--William Blake

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