Rorate Caeli

The Three Fruits of the Advent of Our Lord

If we devoutly celebrate the coming of the Lord we do no more than that which we ought to do, for He has not only come to us, He has come for us, Who has no need of our own goods. The enormity of the grace which He gives us demonstrates quite clearly our previous indigence.

For if one judges the gravity of a disease from what it costs to heal it, one is forced to recognize the amount of disease to heal from the amount of medicine to which one must have recourse.

Why would there be a diversity of graces if there was not a diversity of needs? It is difficult to enumerate in a single discourse all the miseries to we which are subjected, but three are now clear in my spirit as needs which are common to all and which one may in some way behold as our main miseries.

There is not a single person amongst us who does not seem to have, at some time, the need for counsel, aid, and assistance, for that triple need is general to the whole human race; and for all that we are, living in the shadow of death, in a weak body and under the spell of temptation, if we wish to seriously reflect, we shall see that we are the victims of this triple evil.

Truly we are weak to seduction, indolent in our action, powerless to resist.If we wish to discern between good and evil, we always mistake ourselves; and if we wish to do good, we are beaten and vanquished.

This was what made the advent of the Lord necessary and what made His presence a need for all men in the state in which they were. God wishes that, by the abundance of His grace, He not only comes but inhabits within us by Faith, to dissipate our shadows by the impact of His light; He wishes to remain within us to aid our feebleness, He resists with us to cover and protect our fragility.

Truly, if He is in us, what will induce us to err? If He is with us, what will we not be able to do in Him who fortifies us? He is a faithful counselor, who cannot deceive us or be deceived, he is a powerful aid who prevents fatigue, an efficient protector who may put Satan himself under our feet and annihilate his power, because He is nothing less than the Wisdom of God Himself, who may, when he wishes to do so, instruct the ignorant.

He is the virtue of God, who supports unceasingly those who fail and takes them away from any danger. My brethren, every time we have the need for counsel, let us appeal to this Master; in all our actions, let us call this powerful aide; in all assaults which we must stand, let us place the salvation of our souls in the hands of this sure Defender.

He is come to the world precisely to find Himself within men, with men, and for men, to dissipate our shadows, to alleviate our strains, and to deliver us from the dangers which imperil us.
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, Seventh Sermon of the Advent of Our Lord
Christmas Posting Recess till St. Stephen's-
Merry Christmas to all!

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