Introductory Note:

As we prepare our hearts during Advent with gladness, anticipation, and longing, we find this meditation on the Incarnation from Gregory of Nazianzus particularly rich and filling.

Wishing you a blessed Advent!

Renovaré Team

The very Son of God, old­er than the ages, the invis­i­ble, the incom­pre­hen­si­ble, the incor­po­re­al, the begin­ning of begin­ning, the light of light, the foun­tain of life and immor­tal­i­ty, the image of the arche­type, the immov­able seal, the per­fect like­ness, the def­i­n­i­tion and word of the Father: he it is who comes to his own image and takes our nature for the good of our nature, and unites him­self to an intel­li­gent soul for the good of my soul, to puri­fy like by like.

He takes to him­self all that is human, except for sin. He was con­ceived by the Vir­gin Mary, who had been first pre­pared in soul and body by the Spir­it; his com­ing to birth had to be treat­ed with hon­or, vir­gin­i­ty had to receive new hon­or. He comes forth as God, in the human nature he has tak­en, one being, made of two con­trary ele­ments, flesh and spir­it. Spir­it gave divin­i­ty, flesh received it.

He who makes rich is made poor; he takes on the pover­ty of my flesh, that I may gain the rich­es of his divin­i­ty. He who is full is made emp­ty; he is emp­tied for a brief space of his glo­ry, that I may share in his full­ness. What is this wealth of good­ness? What is this mys­tery that sur­rounds me? I received the like­ness of God, but failed to keep it. He takes on my flesh, to bring sal­va­tion to the image, immor­tal­i­ty to the flesh. He enters into a sec­ond union with us, a union far more won­der­ful than the first.

Holi­ness had to be brought to man by the human­i­ty assumed by one who was God, so that God might over­come the tyrant by force and so deliv­er us and lead us back to him­self through the medi­a­tion of his Son. The Son arranged this for the hon­or of the Father, to whom the Son is clear­ly obe­di­ent in all things.

The Good Shep­herd, who lays down his life for the sheep, came in search of the stray­ing sheep to the moun­tains and hills on which you used to offer sac­ri­fice. When he found it, he took it on the shoul­ders that bore the wood of the cross, and led it back to the life of heaven.

Christ, the light of all lights, fol­lows John, the lamp that goes before him. The Word of God fol­lows the voice in the wilder­ness; the bride­groom fol­lows the bridegroom’s friend, who pre­pares a wor­thy peo­ple for the Lord by cleans­ing them by water in prepa­ra­tion for the Spirit.

We need God to take our flesh and die, that we might live. We have died with him, that we may be puri­fied. We have risen again with him, because we have died with him. We have been glo­ri­fied with him, because we have risen again with him.

From The Litur­gy of the Hours Accord­ing to the Roman Rite, Vol. I, Advent & Christ­mas Sea­sons, pp. 161 – 162. Catholic Book Pub­lish­ing Corp., 1975.

Pho­to by Jr Kor­pa on Unsplash

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📚 The 2022 – 23 Ren­o­varé Book Club

This year’s nine-month, soul-shap­ing jour­ney fea­tures four books, old and new, prayer­ful­ly curat­ed by Ren­o­varé. Now under­way and there’s still time to join.

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