At Roses for Our Lady's December 9th Holy Hour for Vocations, Bishop Hying spoke about St. Bernard's "Three Advents." I had never heard of three Advents before and I found the idea of it to be fascinating and rich in food for thought.
According to St. Bernard, the three Advents include the coming of the Christ Child into the world though the Virgin birth which is the first Advent. The third Advent is the final coming of Christ at the end of time. In the first Advent He comes to save us and in the third Advent He will call us home. These are the Advents of promise and fulfillment.
But the second Advent is the Advent of the here and now, the Advent of the present moment. Christ dwells within our souls in this Advent of struggle and His presence within us brings us comfort and reassurance. Since a definition of the word "advent" is "coming" I find it very appealing to meditate on Christ coming to me now when I need Him the most, like a hero coming to the rescue of a fair maiden in distress. Wherever you are right now, whatever state of sinfulness or sanctity, sorrow or joy, distraction or rest in which you currently find yourself, Christ is coming to you to bring you His peace.
He's coming to you in the smile of a baby, in the embrace of a child, in the wisdom of an elderly friend. He's coming to you in the kindness of a stranger, in the peace of a gentle song, in the whisper of a prayer. He's coming to you now, bringing you His love and His peace. Can you feel Him? Can you feel the Advent of Christ within your heart and soul right now?
"He shall be peace." ~Micah 5:2