Wednesday, December 17, 2014

O Antiphon for December 17 ~ O Sapientia!

O Wisdom, who came from the mouth of the Most High, reaching from end to end and ordering all things mightily and sweetly: come, and teach us the way of prudence. (cf. Sirach 24:5; Wisdom 8:1)

"Our Lady said yes for the human race. Each one of us must echo that yes for our own lives.

"We are all asked if we will surrender what we are, our humanity, our flesh and blood, to the Holy Spirit and allow Christ to fill the emptiness formed by the particular shape of our life.  

"The surrender that is asked of us includes complete and absolute trust; it must be like Our Lady's surrender, without condition and without reservation.

"We shall not be asked to do more than the Mother of God; we shall not be asked to become extraordinary or set apart or to make a hard and fast rule of life or to compile a manual of mortifications or heroic resolutions; we shall not be asked to cultivate our souls like rare hothouse flowers; we shall not, most of us, even be allowed to do that.

"What we shall be asked to give is our flesh and blood, our daily life -- our thoughts, our service to one another, our affections and loves, our words, our intellect, our waking, working, and sleeping, our ordinary human joys and sorrows -- to God.

"To surrender all that we are, as we are, to the Spirit of Love in order that our lives may bear Christ into the world -- that is what we shall be asked.

"Our Lady has made this possible. Her fiat was for herself and for us, but if we want God's will to be completed in us as it is in her, she must echo her fiat."

~Caryll Houselander, The Reed of God

Mary, Seat of Wisdom, pray for us!

FYI! Ave Maria! As to be expected, a Google search will yield a wealth of material about the O Antiphons, which the Church begins singing today, December 17, at the Magnificat during Vespers/Evening Prayer. I highly recommend in particular the excellent resources to be found here, herehere, here and here. As an aside, I began praying the Divine Office in 1966, so this is the 48th Advent I have humbly and happily joined the Church in singing these magnificent O Antiphons. Back then, I was a wide-eyed, head-in-the-clouds, 18-year old postulant with the Springfield Franciscans. Now I am a wide-eyed, feet-on-the-ground, 66-year-old consecrated virgin in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. Yes, you read that correctly -- I am still wide-eyed. Deo gratias! When it comes to our dear Lord and His marvelous, inexplicable ways, I am still astonished, trusting, simple, innocent, stupefied, amazed, impressionable, dumbfounded, agog, agape, thunderstruck, awe-stricken and spellbound. In other words, to quote St. Thomas Aquinas, I am -- and, please God, I always will be! -- "lost, all lost in wonder at the God thou art." O come, let us adore Him!

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