BY THE eternal hills the whole of creation may be understood. It is eternal in the sense of everlasting, because it will not be destroyed but renewed and glorified at the end of time. The significance of Jesus, the God-Man, for all creation is stated by St. Paul when he writes to the Colossians, "He is the firstborn of every creature. For in Him were created all things in Heaven and on earth, things visible and invisible. . . . All things have been created through Him and unto Him, and He is before all creatures, and in Him all things hold together" (Col. 1:15 f.).
The God-Man is the first thought in the eternal decrees of creation; in Him and through Him created beings are to find their ultimate goal and perfection. Therefore Jesus is the Desire of the eternal hills, of Heaven and earth, of Angels and men and the whole irrational creation.
The Desire of Angels
Even without the sin of Adam the Son of God would have become Man, according to the opinion of many theologians. The Incarnation of the Son of God was revealed to the Angels and the adoration of the God-Man was the test upon which their future happiness was to depend. Many of the Angels refused to adore and they were cast into the abyss. But ever since the moment of that revelation the good Angels longed for the coming of the God-Man; their desire increased when man was created and they beheld the nature which the Word of God would assume. The Incarnation would be the grandest manifestation of God's wisdom, power, and love.
The Desire of Men
The story of the Fall of our first parents is well known. In punishment for their sin they were driven out of Paradise and Heaven was closed to them. All seemed to be lost. But God's designs were not thwarted; His wisdom and love had prepared a more glorious restoration of what had been ruined by sin. God's promise of a Redeemer now became the star of hope that guided men in their misery. The sign of the Virgin Mother and her Divine Son appeared on the horizon. Hope lived on and grew stronger among the patriarchs. Jacob blessed his son Joseph and the effects of this blessing were to last until the Desire of the eternal hills would come. Prophets spoke of Him; they described His life and death, the time of His coming. The desire for the Redeemer increased from century to century, even as the curse of sin exacted a heavier toll in the growing corruption of men. Isaias gave heart-stirring expression to this desire, and his words are heard to the present day in the Advent liturgy of the Church, "Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above and let the clouds rain the just; let the earth be opened and bud forth the Savior,
and let justice spring up together" (Isa. 45:8).
The Desire of the eternal hills appeared in that silent, holy night at Bethlehem. He brought forgiveness of sin and peace within the reach of all men of good will. But the final restoration of all things has to wait until the full number of the elect has been gathered from all nations and generations. Universal peace, the one fold and one shepherd, the ultimate, decisive defeat of the powers of darkness, is still far away. Today, in tear-filled eyes and in hearts afflicted with sorrow and grief, the desire is strong for the day when "God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. And death shall be no more; neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away" (Apoc. 21:4 f.). From the night of bombed-out cities, from the darkness of prisons and death chambers, we hear cries and prayers for the time when night shall be no more. In the general poverty and destruction left by wars the desire grows so much stronger for that "incorruptible inheritance, undefiled and unfading, reserved for you in Heaven" (1 Pet. 1:4).
Desire of Irrational Creation
Because the whole visible creation was called into existence for the sake of man, it also shared in the curse of man's sin. Thus ran the sentence, "Cursed is the earth in thy work . . . thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to thee . . ." (Gen. 1:17). The hills and mountains preceded man in creation and they witnessed the harmony and beauty of the beginning, the happiness of the first parents in Paradise; they also saw the ruin and misery which sin brought into the world. The curse of sin has overflowed upon the whole earth. It is not the original, God-willed state of nature that we behold now. But it shall be changed when all things shall be restored in Christ at the end of time. In the words of the great Apostle, "The eager longing of creation awaits the revelation of the sons of God . . . because creation itself also shall be delivered from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the sons of God. For we know that all creation groans and travails in pain until now" (Rom. 8:19 f.).
The Sacred Heart of Jesus will in due time eliminate every remnant and vestige of the curse of sin. He, the Desire of the eternal hills, is also our Desire. May He come soon and may men find eternal rest in His heavenly kingdom, in the fulfillment of all their desires: "And He will dwell with them. And they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God. . . . Behold I make all things new" (Apoc. 21:3, 5).
TAKEN FROM THE LITANY OF THE SACRED HEART, Bruce Publishing