The approach of Advent is marked by two saints of the Cross. First there is Saint John of the Cross (24 November) who, as we struggle to cope with short days and long hours of darkness, embraces the mystery of the Cross in the obscurity of the night. A few days later there is Saint Andrew (30 November) who, in the magnificent antiphons of his Office greets the mystery of the Cross in the light of faith. The advent of Christ is marked by the sign of the Cross. Let us receive its imprint humbly, knowing that by the Cross of Christ we are healed and set free. We pray today that those called to seek God in Carmel may remain, like Saint John of the Cross, faithful to the meditation of the Word and to prayer by day and by night, until their consummation in the Living Flame of Love.
O God, who didst endow Thy priest, Saint John, with a spirit of utter self-denial and a surpassing love of the Cross; grant, we beseech Thee, that, by ever holding fast to his example, we may attain to the contemplation of Thy everlasting glory. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, forever and ever.
O God, who by Thy living flame of love, didst sustain Saint John of the Cross even in the darkness: shed Thou Thy light, we beseech Thee, on all who love Thee though it be night and give them to drink their fill of the deathless spring that in the living Bread lies hidden. Through Christ our Lord.