I want to tell you about something that happened to me the other day.
I went to confession to a wonderful elderly priest, even older than I am. This is what he said to me—I wrote it down when I got home:
"Now is a moment of grace. Something big is about to happen; something very big. And it's going to happen to you. We are about to begin Advent. God has become incarnate in the human condition, for you, personally for you. God has become a little baby right in the middle of the sins you have just told me about. You have reason for new and wonderful hope."
I'll tell you, I left that confessional feeling highly excited over the coming of Advent — a very personal excitement over the fact that Christ came to us two thousand years ago as one of us, and that he is still coming each day, in each Mass, and in a thousand different ways. And that he would have come if I — if you — were the only person in the world.
[Let us pray] that the Messiah, the Lord Jesus, will strengthen us and prepare us for the day of his final Advent as our judge. The Gospel lovingly warns us that this final Advent can come for any one of us at any moment and pleads with us to be ready.
John Cardinal O'Connor "See for yourselves, the Kingdom of God is near." from A Moment of Grace: John Cardinal O'Connor on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1995)
Used with permission.
John Cardinal O'Connor († 2000) was the Archbishop of New York, a former Navy chaplain, and the founder of the Sisters of Life.Copyright © 1995 Ignatius Press
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