Eternal LightThe solemn feast of the Son coheres with with the shortness of the cosmic days. Just yesterday we observed the first day of the winter solstice and also the Advent Ember Day. You might say that heaven and earth, the immaterial and material coalesce to point to something richer than any human thought can conceive.

The saints have something to say to us as a locus theologicus: concrete experience of the Incarnate Son of God leads to new ways of conceiving human existence. The saint bears witness to his or her Creator, the Savior of the world and therefore holds up for us a new and deeper way to understand the Divine Mystery.

One only has to meditate on the O Antiphons sung at the time of the Magnificat at Vespers to have a sense of divine action in history. But let’s return to a saint who makes a good connection with what you see out your window and what is placed in the heart, that is, who is given to us by the Almighty.

Saint Maximus of Turin: “Even if I were to keep silence, my friends, the season would warn us that the birthday of Christ our Lord is at hand. The year is coming to an end and forestalls the subject of my sermon. The depressing shortness of the days itself testifies to the imminence of some event which will bring about the betterment of a world urgently longing for a brighter sun to dispel its darkness. In spite of fearing that its course may be terminated within a few brief hours, the world still shows signs of hope that its yearly cycle will once more be renewed. And if creation feels this hope, it persuades us also to hope that Christ will come like a new sunrise to shed light on the darkness of our sins, and that the Sun of Justice, in the vigor of his new birth, will dispel the long night of guilt from our hearts. Rather than allow the course of our life to come to an end with such appalling brevity, we are confident that he will extend it by his powerful grace.”