Day 27 (Dec 23) O Emmanuel & The Sins of Individual Men (Advent Meditation)
“O Emmanuel, our King and Lawgiver, the expectation of the nations and their Saviour, come to save us, O Lord our God!”
1. Emmanuel, God with us, is a name that in every way belongs to Christ Our Lord. He is with His people in all their needs, ever ready to help and console them. He is with us on every altar, waiting for us to come and pour out before Him our sorrow and our needs. He is with us, above all, in Holy Communion, when He comes to dwell in our heart, and to bring with Him every grace that we need. He is with us in the hour of death, and He will be with us forever in heaven.
2. He Who thus comes to dwell with us in familiar friendship is our King; He Who thus condescends to be our companion is the God Who has an absolute right to our obedience. He is our Lawgiver, and the statutes that He enacts for us have but one end and aim and object, to lead His subjects into the ways of happiness and the paths of peace.
3. Come then, O God, our Lord and our Saviour. Come and save us from all the perils of the Evil One and from our own weakness and frailty. Come and save us in the hour of temptation, for Thou alone art our King, and none save Thou shalt rule over us. Come and bring us safe through this valley of tears to Thy eternal kingdom, where we shall dwell forever, O sweet Jesus, in the everlasting delights of Thy blissful company.
The Sins of Individual Men
I will recount to Thee all my years in the bitterness of my soul. (Ps. xxxviii. 15.)
1. When we look at the sin of Adam and see the consequences it entailed, what shall we say of the consequences that the sins of each one of us are likely to bring upon our heads? Adam’s was a single sin, as opposed to our countless offenses. He did not appreciate the results of sin as we do, he had not witnessed the misery that comes from it as we do, he had not seen the flames of hell kindled by sin as we do. How much more grievous, then, are the offenses of each one of us!
2. We must remember, too, that Adam’s sin was forgiven the very day it was committed, and God in His mercy sealed His forgiveness by the promise of the Redeemer. Yet see the consequences of forgiven sin! The long penance, the spread of moral corruption, the disease and death, the misery and sorrow, the banishment from the face of God, all these still remained although the guilt of sin was gone. What reason, then, for me to tremble at the thought of all my past sins!
3. I will glance over my past life and try to recall a few of my many offenses. What a career mine has been! What ingratitude to God! What selfishness, what uncharitableness to others. what meanness, what unfaithfulness to grace, what impurity, what low motives of action, what forgetfulness of God, what idle words, what waste of time, what continual following of my own inclinations! How can I hope to escape the just judgments of God?
Pray for shame and contrition at the sight of your sins.
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