In Seasons of Celebration, Thomas Merton reflects on the writings of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux. Saint Bernard spoke of three advents of Christ.
The first advent is “that in which He comes to seek and to save the lost.”
The third advent is “that in which He comes to takes us to Himself.”
The second advent, the one which I’ve been thinking on ever since reading about it, is the present advent which “is taking place at every moment of our own earthly life as wayfarers.”
Thomas Merton said, referring to the second advent, the one between the first and third,
To meditate on these two Advents
is to sleep between the arms of God
with His left hand under our head
and His right hand embracing us.
It is also to sleep ‘between the lots’ —
that is to say to
‘live at peace in the midst of our inheritance’.