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Editor’s note: Pictured above is a detail from “The Return of the Prodigal Son” painted by Sir Edward John Poynter in 1869.

By John Horvat II, Crisis Magazine, November 21, 2018

Advent: Latin ad-venio, to come to.

“Send down the dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the Just One: let the earth be opened, and bud forth the Redeemer.” Thus, begins the Advent hymn, “Rorate Caeli,” that mournfully calls upon God to hear our prayers. We are made to sigh with longings, as the Fathers of old, asking God to consider not our iniquities. The hymn ends with the assurance that “I will save thee, be not afraid, For I am the Lord Thy God, The Holy One of Israel, Thy Redeemer.”

As we enter Advent, most people will breeze through the season without reflection about what it means. They will prepare for our secular celebration of Christmas with parties and shopping. Few will apply the lessons of this must august liturgical season to their daily lives.

For faithful Catholics, observing Advent should mean putting ourselves in a position analogous to the Fathers of old. This can be more easily done by imagining ourselves in the plight of the Prodigal Son.

Indeed, we are in much the same situation as the Prodigal Son. We find ourselves, through our own faults and those of society, in an agitated and frenzied world that is not our true home. We suffer amid an immoral world that only lives for pleasures and amusements. We desire to return home but do not know how to do it……Continue reading…