Thought of the day
Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Tuesday of the Third week of Advent

Isaac of Stella (?-c.1171), Cistercian monk 1st sermon for the Second Sunday of Lent

Tuesday of the Third week of Advent

Commentary of the day
Isaac of Stella (?-c.1171), Cistercian monk 
1st sermon for the Second Sunday of Lent

                 "Repent and believe in the word of God"

My brothers, this is the time for each one of us individually to leave the place of our sinfulness. Let us set out from our own Babylon to meet God our Saviour, as the prophet warns us: “Prepare to meet your God, O Israel, for he is coming” (Am 4,12 Vg). Let us leave the abyss of our sins and willingly set out towards the Lord who has assumed “the likeness of sinful flesh” (Rom 8,3). Let us leave our will to sin and set out to offer repentance for our sins. Then we will find Christ: in himself he atoned for the sin he had by no means committed. So he who saves the penitent will grant us salvation...: “He shows mercy to those who repent” (Sir 12,3 Vg).

You will say to me:... “But who can leave their sins on their own?” Ah yes, but truly the greatest of sins is the love of sin, the desire to sin. So leave this desire..., hate the sin and, behold!, you have left sin. If you hate sin then you have met Christ where he is to be found. Christ forgives the faults of those of us who hate sin while waiting to pull out by the roots our evil habits.

But you will say that even this is too much for you and that, without God's grace, it is impossible for a man to hate his sin, desire justice and want to repent. “Let them give thanks to the Lord for his kindness and his wondrous deeds to the children of men” (Ps 107[106],8)... Lord, save me from cowardliness and from the storm... O Lord, with mighty hand, Jesus all-powerful, you have freed my mind from the demon of ignorance and snatched my sick will from the plague of its covetousness. Now set free my capacity for action so that with your holy angels... I, too, may “do your bidding, obeying your spoken word” (Ps 103[102],20).