Day 25 (Dec 21) O Oriens & Man’s First Sin (Advent Meditation)
“O Orient, Splendor of eternal light and Sun of justice; come and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.”
1. The night of pagan times was long and dark, and seemed hopeless. Deeper and deeper the nations were sinking in misery and vice. But at length the Orient, the brightness of the eternal light of heaven, rose, and scattered the darkness, changing the gloom into a brilliant day. So too for those who have been long shrouded in the dense gloom of sin or sorrow there waits the same divine Light, ready to scatter their darkness in a moment, if only they will draw nigh to Him. He waits for me, ready to brighten my path, to scatter my sins and sorrows, if I will avail myself of His love.
2. That rising Light is the Sun of justice, Who shall exercise His justice in delivering the captive, and in recompensing His friends a hundred, nay, a thousandfold, for every little service done to Him. For His justice is virtually identical with His mercy, and rejoices to employ itself in works of pity and of love.
3. Come then, O Orient, O Sun of justice; shine on those who sit in darkness, on those who are enveloped in the thick mists of heathendom and heresy. Come and enlighten their ignorance, that they may not perish. Come and deliver them from the shadow of death, for they cannot deliver themselves. Pour upon them such a flood of light and grace as may guide their feet into the way of peace.
Man’s First Sin
Pride is the beginning of all sin. (Ecclus. x. 15.)
1. In Paradise before the Fall, Adam and Eve enjoyed a happiness beyond compare. They knew no pain, sickness, sorrow. They were created immaculate, and adorned with a high degree of supernatural grace; they were exempt from all concupiscence; their lives passed in a continual round of unfailing delight; each evening God Himself came to hold sweet converse with them.
2. What was it ruined their happiness? The tempter came and suggested to Eve a distrust of God, whispered into her ear motives of disobedience. Eve listened and consented, and in her heart deliberately revolted against God. Pride brought with it concupiscence; she looked at the fruit that God had forbidden, took it, ate it, gave it to Adam. He also ate it, and thus lost for himself and all his posterity the gift of original justice and all the graces and blessings that accompanied it. One single sin ruined the world. How ought I to dread and hate sin!
3. What was the history of this first sin? The same as of every sin. First the listening to the tempter’s voice; then a jealousy of God as of one who interferes with our happiness; then a positive revolt and undisguised pride; and after this every other sin, especially the indulgence of bodily appetite and depraved desires. If I examine myself I shall find that each sin I commit follows the same course.
Pray to avoid the first beginnings of sin.
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