Advent: From the Latin ad-venio, to come to.
“Send down the dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the Just One: let the earth be opened, and bud forth the Redeemer.”
These words of the Advent hymn, Rorate Caeli, echo the longings of the Fathers of old for the coming of a Redeemer who would blot out our iniquities and save us.
Words like these can also awaken an appetite for wondrous, divine things far superior to earthly considerations. No fleeting delight the world can offer compares with the deep and spiritual joy these heavenly topics bring.
Such thoughts touch us because God gave us a natural capacity to know Him and supernatural reality. Our souls sigh for Him and the superior reflections that will satisfy our yearnings. In vain do we seek beauty, happiness and well-being without touching upon this higher realm of transcendentals found in the supernatural order.
Every being strives to arrive at its fullest expression. For example, a plant needs to develop according to its proper dimensions, colour, and characteristics. From seed to sapling and on to maturity, a tree seeks the full expression of its being. This happens to us as well. We naturally tend to develop according to our abilities, appetites and yearnings.
When, through our malice, we do not tend to those good and heavenly things proper to our nature, we reach for their contrary. We become attracted to horrendous and vile things that favour our most deep-rooted and unbridled passions.
So many today have descended this dark path. The sense of true spiritual joy seems to have abandoned the world, and an earthly and macabre feast absorbs ever-greater numbers of people. We can say that this dark spectacle prepares humanity for the adoration of the devil.
However, from the depth of our decadence and abandonment, we can sense the same yearnings as the Fathers of old. They longed for the coming of the Saviour. Thus, hymns like the Rorate Caeli can speak to our souls amid the dark anxiety.
This Advent, we must ardently ask Our Lady for graces that will rain down like the dew in the night, to irrigate and make fecund this hymn’s sublime scriptural words that call us back to God. We need graces that will touch those devastated by our modern world, graces of restoration.
This heavenly dew would give humanity what it now rejects. We hope that it will trigger a process whereby we might disconnect from the macabre self-centered world of frenetic intemperance and embrace that most profound and eternal order of things that shines like the star of Bethlehem. We will then feel the relief and joy of abandoning this evil world and fulfilling our soul’s noblest yearnings.
The hymn ends with the assurance that “I will save thee. Be not afraid, for I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Redeemer.”
Thus, this Advent, we must ask with an insistent ardour that the gates of Heaven open and, once again, let shine the lumen Christi, the light of Christ upon the earth, initiating the triumph and reign of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
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