Brennan Manning on Advent

I’m currently reading this book at night:


There is an entry every day from November 24 to January 7. Each chapter is written by a different author. The author for December 20 was Brennan Manning. And of course, it’s simply profound. That is, profound in such a simple way. I just want to share a tiny bit of it.

The title of the chapter is “Shipwrecked at the Stable.” Manning quotes Jose Ortega regarding the idea of who the shipwrecked are –

The man with the clear head is the man who frees himself from fantasy and looks life in the face, realizes that everything in it is problematic, and feels himself lost. And this is the simple truth – that to live is to feel oneself lost. Whoever accepts this has already begun to find himself, to be on firm ground. Instinctively, as do the shipwrecked, he will look around for something to which to cling, and that tragic, ruthless glance, absolutely sincere because it is a question of his salvation, will cause him to bring order to the chaos of his life. These are the only genuine ideas, the ideas of the shipwrecked.

With this context, marinate in Manning’s words this Christmas week:

The shipwrecked have stood at the still-point of a turning world and discovered that the human heart is made for Jesus Christ and cannot really be content with less. They cannot take seriously the demands that the world makes on them. During Advent they teach us that the more we try to tame and reduce desires, the more we deceive and distort ourselves. We are made for Christ and nothing less will ever satisfy us. As Paul writes in Colossians 1:16, ‘All things were created by him and for him.’ And further on, ‘There is only Christ: he is everything’ (3:11). It is only in Christ that the heart finds true joy in created things.

Merry Christmas, God with us.


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