Fr. Cantalamessa on Advent's Wake-up Call
Papal Household Preacher Comments on Liturgical Readings
ROME, NOV. 28, 2005 (Zenit) - In his commentary on today's liturgical readings, Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, the preacher of the Pontifical Household, talks about how Advent helps us to kick bad habits.
* * *
Life Is a Dream!
Jesus' way of speaking implies a very precise view of the world: the present time is like a long night; the life we lead is like a dream; the frenetic activity we engage in is, in fact, a dream. A Spanish writer of the 17th century, Calderón de la Barca, wrote a famous play on the subject: "Life Is a Dream."
In sleep, our life reflects above all brevity. Sleep occurs outside of time. In sleep things do not last as in reality. Situations that would take days and weeks, in sleep happen in a few minutes. It is an image of our life: Reaching old age, one looks back and has the impression that life has been no more than an instant.
Another characteristic of sleep is irreality or vanity. One can dream one is at a banquet and eats and drinks to the point of satiety; one awakes and is again hungry. A poor man, one night, dreams he has become rich: He exults in his sleep, he shows off, he even disdains his own father, pretending he does not recognize him, but he awakens and realizes he is just as poor as he was before! This also happens when one comes out of the dream of this life. One has been rich down here, but then dies and finds himself exactly in the situation of the poor man who awoke after dreaming he was rich. What remains of all his riches if he has not used them well? Empty hands.
There is a characteristic of sleep that does not apply in life, the absence of responsibility. One might have killed or robbed in dreams; one awakes and there is no guilt; one's certificate of criminal antecedents is without a stain. Not so in life; we know it well. What one does in life leaves its trace, and what a trace! It is written in fact that God "will render to every man according to his works" (Romans 2:6).
On the physical plane there are substances that "induce" and aid to sleep; they are called sleeping pills and are well known by a generation such as our own, sick with insomnia. Also on the moral plane there is a terrible sleeping pill. It is called habit.
A habit is like a vampire. The vampire -- at least according to what is believed -- attacks people who are asleep and, while it sucks their blood, at the same time it injects a soporific substance which makes sleep even lovelier, so that the unfortunate individual sinks into ever more profound sleep and the vampire can suck all the blood it needs. The habit of vice also lulls the conscience, so that one no longer feels remorse; one believes one is very well and does not realize that one is dying spiritually.
The only salvation, when this "vampire" has attached itself to an individual, is that something unexpected happen to awaken one from one's dream. This is what the Word of God that we hear so often during Advent is determined to do, cry out so that we wake up!
We conclude with a word of Jesus that opens our hearts to confidence and hope: "Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes; truly, I say to you, he will gird himself and have them sit at table , and he will come and serve them" (Luke 12:37).
http://www.catholic.org CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000
Cantalamessa, Advent, Jesus, Mark
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718
A Recession Antidote
Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
by Catholic Online
- St. Bartholomew: Saint of the Day for Thursday, August 24, 2017
- Priest admits to being former member of KKK, and speaks out about his ...
- As terrorists attacked, one church opened its doors. Here's what ...
- Daily Readings for Thursday, August 24, 2017
- In Barcelona, a church responded to a terrorist attack by opening its ...
- Archbishop reveals a surprise about Medjugorje HD Video
- Forget Winter, Recession is Coming
- Trump announces new Afghan strategy - do we get to win this time? HD
- Does the Aug 21 eclipse spell doom for humanity? HD
- Daily Reading for Thursday, August 24th, 2017 HD
- 10 US Sailors missing after serious collision in Southeast Asian waters HD