01 January 2010

Jubilee Year and a Disputed Antiphon

With today's Solemnity of Mary, the mother of God, we welcome the year about which we Visitandines -- and our friends -- have been talking for a decade. Later this month we will open our jubilee year with the Solemnity of Saint Francis de Sales and it will conclude on the death date of Saint Jane de Chantal, 12 December.

As we reflect on today's Solemnity, we share a *disputed* antiphon which is no longer included in the Roman breviary but used to follow O Emmanuel in previous incarnations of the Liturgy of the Hours:

O Virgo Virginum quomodo fiet istud: quia nec primam similem visa es nec habere sequentem: filiae hierusalem quid me admiraninimi divinum est mysterium hoc quod cernitis.
O Virgin of Virgins, how shall this be? For neither before was there any like you nor will there be any to follow after: daughters of Jerusalem, why marvel at me? That which you believe is a divine mystery.

Although this antiphon points toward Mary in that is addressed to her, it is striking how it points away from her as well: "Why marvel at me?" It points toward Jesus, the divine mystery which she and Joseph were privileged to carry in their arms. As we begin another year and look ahead toward all things new, let us follow Mary's example and let our words and our actions point away from ourselves and toward Jesus. For we may never know how our kind words or our good example can affect those around us.

A happy and healthy new year to all our faithful readers!

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