Pope Recommends Keeping Diary of God's Love

Says Every Event of Every Day Is Sign of His Care

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VATICAN CITY, NOV. 30, 2009 (Zenit.org).- As the Church begins Advent, Benedict XVI is recalling that it is a season to recall how God comes to visit us.

The Pope said this during a homily at First Vespers on Saturday, with which the Church began Advent and the new liturgical year.

The Holy Father reflected on the etymology of the word «advent» from the Latin adventus.

«With the word adventus an attempt was made essentially to say: God is here, he has not withdrawn from the world, he has not left us alone,» he explained. «Although we cannot see or touch him, as is the case with tangible realities, he is here and comes to visit us in multiple ways.»

The Pontiff added that the expression advent also includes «visitatio, which means simply and properly ‘visit.'»

«In this case,» he said, «it is a visit of God: He enters my life and wants to address me.»

Taking time

Benedict XVI acknowledged that we all experience «having little time for the Lord and little time for ourselves.»

«We end up by being absorbed in ‘doing,'» he said. «Is it not true that often activity possesses us, that society with its many interests monopolizes our attention? Is it not true that we dedicate much time to amusements and leisure of different kinds? Sometimes things ‘trap’ us.»

In this scenario, the Holy Father said, Advent «invites us to pause in silence to grasp a presence.»

He continued: «It is an invitation to understand that every event of the day is a gesture that God directs to us, sign of the care he has for each one of us. How many times God makes us perceive something of his love! To have, so to speak, an ‘interior diary’ of this love would be a beautiful and salutary task for our life! Advent invites and stimulates us to contemplate the Lord who is present. Should not the certainty of his presence help us to see the world with different eyes? Should it not help us to see our whole existence as a ‘visit,’ as a way in which he can come to us and be close to us, in each situation?»

Advent is furthermore a time of joy, the Pontiff said.

It is «the time of the presence and the expectation of the eternal. Precisely for this reason it is, in a particular way, the time of joy, of an internalized joy, that no suffering can erase. Joy because of the fact that God became a child. This joy, invisibly present in us, encourages us to walk with confidence.»

And this joy, he concluded, finds a model and support in the Virgin Mary, «through whom the Child Jesus has been given to us.»

He prayed: «May she, faithful disciple of her Son, obtain for us the grace to live this liturgical time vigilant and diligent in waiting.»

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On ZENIT’s Web page:

Full text: www.zenit.org/article-27703?l=english

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