Piero della Francesca, Madonna del Parto

Fraternity of St. Joseph Advent Retreat

Notes from Julián Carrón's introduction and homily at the Advent Retreat of the Fraternity of St. Joseph in Pacengo (Verona).
Julián Carrón

Who among us, participating in the Beginning Day, did not desire to be entirely drawn to Christ? I think that nothing is more urgent for each of us at the beginning of today’s gesture than that once again our “I” should be seized all the way down to its innermost depths. But we cannot generate this. It is not the outcome of our own effort or our own success. It is something that must happen. Yes, it asks for our openness, but it is a grace. Therefore, the more we desire it, the more intensely we should ask it of the Holy Spirit, because the Spirit is the One who causes Christ to enter our “I” so deeply that He becomes truly ours. Only the Spirit can cause Him to reach all the way to the center of our hearts.

Veni Sancte Spiritus

Canzone degli occhi e del cuore [Song of the eyes and the heart]

Good evening everyone. It is a pleasure to be here with you at the beginning of this Advent retreat to look together at the things closest to our hearts. What is dearest to our hearts? In the time of Advent, which begins tomorrow, the Church has expectant awaiting most at heart. We await! With this expectant awaiting we desire to prepare for the fact of Christ, for Christmas. Every year when Advent season begins I cannot think that this awaiting is something that automatically happens. In fact, how many people wait for nothing? For many people, there is nothing to await. Thus it is not to be taken for granted that we await something, and each of us should ask, “Why do we await expectantly? Why is our life full of expectant awaiting and desire?” It is certainly not because we are better than everyone else. So then, let us ask, “Who gives us this desire? Who awakens in us this capacity to await expectantly?”