The Third Advent
Advent is traditionally the season when the Church remembers the coming of God in Christ, and also looks forward to the final coming.
However some words from St Bernard of Clairvaux made me sit up and think. For he spoke of three advents...
"We have come to know a three-fold coming of the Lord. The first two are clearly visible, but the third is not. The third coming takes place between the other two.
In the first coming the Lord was seen on earth and lived among men.
In his last coming 'all flesh shall see the salvation of our God'.
But the other coming is hidden. In it the chosen see him within themselves and their souls are saved.
The first coming was in flesh and weakness.
The last coming will be in glory and majesty.
This intermediary coming is in the spirit and in power.
This intermediary coming is like a road leading from the first the last.
In the first coming Christ was our redemption.
In the last he will appear as our life.
In the intermediary coming he is our rest and consolation." (Sermon 5 on Advent)