THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
Her Doctrine and Morals
First Sunday in Advent
27 November 2016
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Advent is a time of preparation and anticipation of Christ's coming. Before mankind's existence, Lucifer the highest of the Angels, the Morning Star was filled with pride and thought himself equal to God. As a pure spirit, this thought was deliberate and unchangeable. The instant of this sin and crime he and all who followed him were cast down out of Heaven. He fell from Heaven as lightening. A creature attempted to rise up to the Divinity and was immediately cast down.
These fallen angels, that are now devils, have set out to destroy all the rest of God's creation, especially mankind. Much of the disorder in this world can be attributed to them, they easily take hold of inanimate creatures, and even irrational creatures. However, they can only take control over virtuous men when given permission by God. He does this to humiliate the demons, and to give greater honor and glory to God. Men who lack sanctifying grace are frequently subject to demonic possession of their own free will. The devils seldom manifest themselves in these instances, but prefer to hide silently behind the scenes. In all cases, the devils are here to destroy us through pride and its entire retinue of vices.
Christ has come, not in pride or glory, but in the most abject humility. This is the direct opposite of the fallen angels. The devils are creatures that attempted to become gods. Christ is God become man. God humbled Himself; lowered Himself to us; so that He could raise us up to Himself. No one can ascend, except He who descended. The devils attempted to ascend without the humility of Christ and were cast down. Christ humbled Himself to our level and by uniting us to Himself, will raise us up to God.
Our salvation is at hand, and it is not through the power, wealth, and pride of this life; but, is rather through meekness and humility. "Learn of Me, for I am meek and humble of heart." (Matt. 11, 29) It is in our humble weakness that we are made strong in Christ. There are two agendas: the demonic, through pride and vanity, that will bar us from Heaven along with the devils; and the divine, through meekness and humility, that will open up Heaven to us and carry us in on the arms of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Mankind waited for four thousand years for the coming of the Savior. During that time the devils were very busy, confusing and muddying the revelations of God. This is why they mistakenly expected a Savior that was to come in earthly glory and power. This was the influence of the devils, always seeking power and glory of themselves and other creatures, rather than in God. Having been lead away by these demonic spirits, very few saw and accepted Him, the majority rejected Him in His humility just as the devils did.
Our goal is, then, to follow Jesus in meekness and humility and to "take up our cross daily and follow Him." We are to follow Him in humiliations, suffering, etc. In dying to ourselves in imitation of Him, we become truly united to Him. From this lowest of places (physical death of the body) Jesus rises and ascends to His Father in Heaven. If we are truly united to Him, we too, will rise with Him and enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.
This season of Advent, we are invited to prepare ourselves to receive Him in the meekness and humility of penance and self-mortification. It is to the little ones (the humble) that He reveals Himself. Let us strive to become one of those "little ones." That is, little in sin, but mature in grace. It is only in this way, we are able to truly celebrate the feast of Christmas when Christ truly comes to us and becomes one with us. From this humble station, and only from this humble station, will we be able to be raised up to Our Father in Heaven.
On that Last Day, Christ will return, not in humility and lowliness, but in all power and glory. He will be joined in this power and glory by all those who were joined to Him in humility and suffering. Now is the time to put off all our sins and vices, and to humble ourselves in penances and mortifications taking up our daily cross and following Him; uniting ourselves with Him so that on the Last Day, we will rise glorious with Him.
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