Radiant Joy Blog

Longing for the Savior: A Journey of Advent Reflections

The season of Advent that begins today marks a time of longing and hopeful anticipation for the arrival of our Savior. In this blog post, we will delve into some beautiful expressions of this longing as captured in the timeless book, “Divine Intimacy,” originally published in Italian in 1953 and now available in a 2022 English version. Each year, Advent gives us the opportunity to awaken an intimate and personal expectation for the renewed coming of Christ into our lives. Through exploring the insights of Saint Teresa of Avila and Father Gabriel of Saint Mary Magdalene, we’ll discover how putting on the armor of light and embracing the love and mercy of God can transform our lives.

1. Longing as a Confident Desire: Advent is more than just hoping for the Savior; it’s a confident desire that the Word-Made-Flesh will stir within us. By embracing this intimate expectation, we acknowledge our need for renewal and seek a deeper connection with Christ.

2. Putting on the Armor of Light: Saint Teresa of Avila beautifully describes Jesus’s desire to engulf us in his mercy and love. She encourages us to respond with the heartfelt plea, “Lord, come,” recognizing the limitations of our own love and asking Him to make it strong and generous. Putting on the Lord Jesus Christ entails stripping ourselves of weakness and embracing the holiness of Christ through His grace and mercy. A lofty and holy goal!

3. Overcoming Hindrances: As we prepare to welcome Christ and His work in us, we must approach with humility and a willingness to be healed, purified, and strengthened. This requires renouncing anything that hinders our relationship with Him. By entrusting ourselves to His love, our own weak love can be made strong through His strength so we can give ourselves more surrendered to God.

4. Divine Intimacy and Carmelite Spirituality: “Divine Intimacy” by Father Gabriel of Saint Mary Magdalene offers a profound exploration of Carmelite spirituality. This classic serves as a guide for all who aspire to experience deeper union with God. Through meditations on the interior life for every day of the liturgical year, readers can learn to cultivate divine intimacy. I’ve journeyed with this book for more than half of 2023 and have certainly experienced a closer connection with God.

This Advent, let us embrace the teachings found in “Divine Intimacy” and the wisdom of Saint Teresa of Avila (aka Saint Teresa of Jesus) and Father Gabriel. May we open our hearts to the longing for our Savior and prepare ourselves to receive Him with humility, healing, and a sincere desire for divine intimacy. May this Advent season be a truly blessed journey towards a closer union with God.

I am grateful for Divine Intimacy: Meditations on the Interior Life for Every Day of the Liturgical Year by Father Gabriel of Saint Mary Magdalene, which offers valuable insights and meditations, guiding readers on the path to a deeper connection with God.

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