Posted December 5, 2009
Pope Recommends Keeping Diary of God's Love
Says Every Event of Every Day Is Sign of His Care
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
"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has not withdrawn from the world, he has not left us alone," he explained.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
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
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."