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24 October 2012

Blessed Guerric of Igny

Via Daily Gospel, a great commentary:

Blessed Guerric of Igny (c.1080-1157), Cistercian abbot 
3rd Sermon for Advent, 1 

“You are not in the dark, that the day should catch you off guard, like a thief” (1 Thess 5:4)
“Prepare to meet your God, O Israel, for he is coming!” (cf. Am 4:12) And you too, my brothers, “be on guard. The Son of Man will come when you least expect him.” Nothing is more certain than his coming, but nothing is more uncertain than when he will come. For we know so little about the times and moments, which the Father has determined in his power in such a way that even the angels who surround him don’t know the day or the hour (Acts 1:7; Mt 24:36).

Our last day will also come, that is certain; but when and how is very uncertain for us. As someone said before, all we know is that “face to face with the elderly, he stands on the threshold, whereas face to face with young people, he keeps himself concealed.” (St. Bernard) … That day must not seize us unexpectedly, unprepared, like a thief in the night… May fear, remaining awake, make us ever ready until security follows upon the fear and not fear upon security. The person who is wise says, “I will be on my guard against guilt,” (Ps 18:24), since I cannot preserve myself from death. For he knows that “the just man, though he die early, shall be at rest.” (Wis 4:7) Even more, those who were not enslaved to sin during their lifetime, triumph over death. How beautiful this is, my brothers, what happiness to be not only in security when faced with death, but even more, to triumph over it with glory, strong through the testimony of one’s conscience.

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