17 December 2006

O Sapientia!

This evening we begin the Great O Antiphons of Advent. In the shortest Advent the calendar can possibly provide for us, these ancient antiphons begin on Gaudete Sunday and continue for the duration of the third week of Advent.

O Sapientia, quae ex ore Altissimi prodiisti, attingens a fine usque ad finem, fortiter suaviterque disponens omnia: Veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae.
O Wisdom, you who come forth from the mouth of the Most High, and reaching from end to end, mightily and sweetly ordering all things: Come and teach us the way of prudence.
This first antiphon reminds us of Christ's role in creation. It is striking that we proclaim how the Lord reaches "from end to end, ordering all things mightily" while we wait for His coming among us as a baby. This mighty Lord whose birth changed the world and whose death brought salvation will be born of woman and laid in a manger. That Christ came among us as a child tells us a great deal about his humility, a humility that we are invited to cultivate. Let us pray for the grace to imitate the Lord in this profound humility which prepares our hearts follow Him more closely.
"Humility and charity are united like St. John the Baptist and Our Lord. Humility is the forerunner and precursor of charity . . . . humility must come in order to empty hearts that they might then receive charity."
St. Francis de Sales

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