O Sapientia (Dec 17)

The beautiful rhythm of the liturgical year beats on, and we find ourselves in the last days before the great feast of the Nativity.  We know the Infant King’s birth is approaching because today begins the first of the O Antiphons at Evening Prayer.  For new readers who may not be familiar with the Great O Antiphons, we’re re-posting the Gregorian Chant videos which we shared with you in previous years.  You can also read more about the Os here.

Each antiphon ties in with our salvation history and is packed with meaning about The One around Whom that history revolves.  Each day we’ll include a short meditation on the antiphon by Fr. Roger Landry of Catholic Answers.  They are a nice way to bring the antiphons into your daily prayers this last week of Advent.

The O Antiphon for December 17th sung by the Cantarte Regensburg.

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, Who didst come out of 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.

O Sapientia: “O Wisdom, O holy Word of God, you govern all creation with your strong yet tender care. Come and show your people the way to salvation.” Isaiah had prophesied, “The spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and fear of the Lord, and his delight shall be the fear of the Lord.” (11:2-3), and “Wonderful is His counsel and great is His wisdom.” (28:29).

Wisdom is here personified, present with God at the beginning of creation. This is a prefigurement of Jesus, the eternal Word of God, the “logos” John described in the opening of his gospel. Wisdom is the foundation of fear of the Lord, of holiness, or right living: it is wisdom whom we bid to come and teach us prudence. The cry “Come” will be repeated again and again, insistent and hope-filled.

Prov. 1:20 Wisdom cries out in the street; in the squares she raises her voice.

1 Cor. 1:30 He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption,

Sirach 24:3: “From the mouth of the Most High I came forth, and like mist covered the earth”.

Wisdom 8:1: “She reaches from end to end mightily and governs all things well”.

The above meditation was originally found here.

Need We Say More – Third Sunday of Advent

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On this third Sunday of Advent, we continue our Need We Say More series, bringing you the second reading from today’s Office of Readings:  an excerpt from a fourth century sermon given by St. Augustine of Hippo.  He probably holds the title of most frequent contributor to the Office, as it seems we are always reading something from his sermons or his Biblical commentary.

Please click on the image below to listen to a short reading from a sermon by St. Augustine, courtesy of Sr. Grace Marie.

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Need We Say More – Second Sunday of Advent

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Continuing our Need We Say More series of posts for Advent, we bring you the second reading from today’s Office of Readings:  an excerpt from one of the exegetical works of Eusebius of Caesarea.  He served as Bishop of Caesarea, and died in the fourth century.  He wrote many and various works, including the first surviving history of the Church, which has earned him the title “Father of Church History.”

Please click on the image below to listen to a short reading from the Commentary on Isaiah by Eusebius of Caesarea, courtesy of Sr. Grace Marie.

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Need We Say More – First Sunday of Advent

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In praying the Liturgy of the Hours each morning, we are able to begin our day with the Psalms, scripture readings and the Church Fathers. The readings from the Fathers are always packed full of insight and wisdom.  We want to share that with you, so, as we’ve done for the last four years, on each Sunday of Advent we’re posting some of this ancient wisdom of the Church, taken from the patristic readings in the Liturgy of the Hours.  The Fathers said it best, and sometimes they said it first. That’s why we call this series Need We Say More.

Please click on the image below to listen to a short reading from the Catecheses of St. Cyril of Jerusalem, courtesy of Sr. Grace Marie. breviary

O Emmanuel (Dec 23)

The O Antiphon for Dec 23 sung by the Cantarte Regensburg.

O Emmanuel, Rex et legifer noster, exspectatio gentium, et Salvator earum: veni ad salvandum nos Domine Deus noster.

O Emmanuel, our King and Lawgiver, the Expected of the Nations and their Saviour, come to save us, O Lord our God.

 

A meditation on the antiphon by Fr. Roger Landry

O Emmanuel: “O Emmanuel, king and lawgiver, desire of the nations, Savior of all people, come and set us free, Lord our God.” Isaiah had prophesied, “The Lord himself will give Continue reading

O Rex Gentium (Dec 22)

The O Antiphon for Dec 22 sung by the Cantarte Regensburg.

O Rex Gentium, et desideratus earum, lapisque angularis, qui facis utraque unum: veni, et salva hominem, quem de limo formasti.

O King of the Gentiles and the Desired of them, Thou Cornerstone that dost make both one, come and deliver man, whom Thou didst form out of the dust of the earth.

A meditation on the antiphon by Fr. Roger Landry

O Rex Gentium: “O King of all the nations, the only joy of every human heart; O Keystone of the mighty arch of man, come and save the creature you fashioned from the dust.” Isaiah Continue reading

O Oriens (Dec 21)

The O Antiphon for Dec 21 sung by the Cantarte Regensburg.

O Oriens, splendor lucis æternæ, et sol justitiæ: veni, et illumina sedentes in tenebris, et umbra mortis.

O Dawn of the East, Brightness of the Light Eternal and Sun of Justice, come and enlighten them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.

A meditation on the antiphon by Fr. Roger Landry

O Oriens: “O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice: come, shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.” Isaiah had prophesied, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shown.” (9:1).

This title is variously translated “morning star”, “Dayspring”, “rising sun”, “radiant dawn”, “orient”. All beautifully express the idea of light shattering the darkness of night, of sin and Continue reading