Recommended Reading by Leanne Payne
Posted on December 17th, 2015
from her Christmas 2002 newsletter
Lord our God, help us prepare
for the coming of Christ Your Son.
May He find us waiting, eager in joyful prayer.
from Liturgy of the Hours
The weeks of Advent are traditionally set aside as a time of deliberately entering anew into the mystery of the Incarnation. It is a season of reflection, of repentance, and of focusing our hearts and minds on Jesus, the Word made flesh. There are many books that can help us in these weeks of preparation, and one that has been meaningful to many of us on the PCM team is The Lord by Romano Guardini. Though we have recommended it in a previous newsletter, it is a book that deserves to be highlighted once again. This classic devotional study of the life of Christ is worth reading and rereading, especially during Advent and Christmas, and right on through into Lent and Easter.
Commenting on John 1:1-14 Guardini writes,
Only in the flesh, not in the bare spirit, can destiny and history come into being: this a fact to which we shall often return. God descended to us in the person of the Savior, Redeemer, in order to have a destiny, to become history. Through the Incarnation, the founder of the new history stepped into our midst. With his coming all that had been before fell into its historical place “before the birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ:” anticipating or preparing for that hour; all that was to be, faced the fundamental choice between acceptance and rejection of the Incarnation. He “dwelt among us,” “pitched his tent among us,” as one translation words it. “Tent” of the Logos – what is this but Christ’s body: God’s holy pavilion among men, the original tabernacle of the Lord in our Midst, the “temple” Jesus meant when he said to the Pharisees: “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19). Somewhere between that eternal beginning and the temporal life in the flesh lies the mystery of the Incarnation. St. John presents it austerely, swinging its full metaphysical weight . . . Everything is concentrated on the ultimate, all-powerful essentials: Logos, flesh, step into the world; the eternal origin, the tangible earthly reality, the mystery of unity.
Regnery Publishing, Washington, DC, 1982, p. 5
Reprinted with permission, copyright ©1999-2013 by Leanne Payne Literary Trust