Janos Pilinszky has a captivating image in one of his poems (Vesztőhely télen). When surveying a winter scene, he speaks of the snow as ‘exiled sea’. ‘…And what about the snow, the winter snow? Perhaps, a sea in exile, the silence of God.’
We are the ‘frozen humanity’, immovable, idle, because of our frozenness. Owing to our sins, lack of faith, we cannot return to our origins. Advent is feels like a season when God, whom we made silent, because of the distance from Him, suddenly speaks again. Isaiah’s words, with an unsurpassable beauty, show how our God comes to us and covers us with the warmth of his love. ‘I, the Lord, your God, I am holding you by the right hand; I tell you, “Do not be afraid, I will help you.” Do not be afraid, Jacob, poor worm, Israel, puny mite. I will help you, it is the Lord who speaks, the Holy One of Israel is your redeemer.’ We start being melted. Our exile is being melted.
But advent does something more. It makes us fertile again, in order to bring that change into the world, which our previous (present) frozenness prevented. ‘I will make rivers well up on barren heights, and fountains in the midst of valleys; turn the wilderness into a lake, and dry ground into waterspring.’ But things are not yet finished. Advent is our threshold between the‘frozen see’ and ‘melting exile’.
These are verbal Icons, expressions of how the world is seen from Saint Augustine's..