Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Advent--Dec. 5

"ONE of the distinctive features of this modern anxiety is that its victims can never know nightfall. Their whole lives are spent in the glare of lights, and what bright and blinding lights they are! These lights are, as it were, the wayward eyes of our own anxiety, which instinctively try to shield themselves against God's breakthrough. But they can glimpse God's coming against the backdrop of darkness, and therefore they never know rest.

"The anxiety-ridden cannot enjoy peace and quiet either. Their words and actions go on amid the din of unceasing noise. Their songs and pleasures are loud and slapdash, as if they were afraid to catch God's alien note in the chorus. They meticulously drown out silence with incessant talk and noisy chatter, so that they can stay at peace with themselves. It is as if stillness were a threatening cloud from which God might emerge to rend their hearts.

"Patience is another quality that the anxiety-ridden cannot display. They cannot patiently cultivate those realities that require slow development and silent blossoming: love and fidelity, mutual understanding and friendship, marriage and family life. That is why these realities are in crisis today to a greater or lesser extent, riddled with an anxiety that cannot stand the slow pace of deliberate, tender care.

"Finally, the anxiety-ridden cannot enjoy any peace. From time to time it happens that this anxiety no longer feels able to put up with itself. It seeks to neutralize our imagined alienation in God's advent by arrogantly precipitating our annihilation on its own. It stirs up strife and destruction, it foments war and revolution. The continuing brinkmanship of our age, the powder keg on which we sit, is not a political problem in the last analysis. It is really a religious problem, an outgrowth of our contemporary neurosis and our flight from God's inescapable coming.

"The anxiety-ridden secretly hope that their self-instigated destruction will ease the pressure that weighs down upon them. But even our self-wrought destruction passes away, and the anxiety remains. Its mournful cry can be heard amid the debris. It remains because we ourselves remain, because God's advent remains, and because the former cannot fight off the latter. "

--Johannes Baptist Metz

Ecce rex veniet Dominus terrae,
et ipse auferet jugum captivitatis nostrae.

See!  The ruler of the earth shall come,
the Lord who will take from us the heavy burden of our exile.

--Monastic Liturgy

But  very little while,
and Lebanon shall be changed into an orchard,
and the orchard be regarded as a forest!
On that day the deaf shall hear
the words of a book;
and out of gloom and darkness,
the eyes of the blind shall see.
The lowly will ever find joy in the Lord,
and the poor rejoice in the Holy One of Israel,
For the tyrant will be no more
and the arrogant will have gone;
Therefore thus says the Lord,
the God of the house of Jacob,
who redeemed Abraham:
Now Jacob shall have nothing to be ashamed of,
nor shall his face grow pale.
When his children see
 the work of my hands in his midst,
they shall keep my name holy;
they shall reverence the Holy One of Jacob,
and be in awe of the God of Israel.
Those who err in spirit shall acquire understanding,
and those who find fault shall receive instruction.

--Isaiah 29:17-20, 22-24

"Expectation--anxious, collective, and operative expectation of an end of the world, that is to say, of an issue for the world--that is perhaps the supreme Christian function and the most distinctive characteristic of our religion.

"Historically speaking, that expectation has never ceased to guide the progress of our faith like a torch...We persist in saying that we keep vigil in expectation of the Master.  But in reality we should have to admit, if we were sincere, that we no longer expect anything.  The flame must be revived at all costs. At all costs we must renew in ourselves the desire and the hope for the great coming.  But where are we to look for the source of this rejuvenation?  From the perception of a more intimate connection between the victory of Christ and the outcome of the work which our human effort here below is seeking to construct."

--Pierre Tielhard de Chardin

1 comment:

  1. I'm not familiar with Metz, thank you for the introduction.