17 December 2007

O Sapientia!

At Vespers tonight the Magnificat is framed by the first of the Great O Antiphons.

O Wisdom, proceeding from the mouth of the Most High,
pervading and permeating the whole creation,
mightily ordering all things:
Come and teach us the way of prudence!

Our Lord is Logos - the very logic of the universe itself is disclosed in Him, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. The key to life itself is not found anywhere else but in the Exemplar by whose wisdom we were made: the Eternal Word and Son of the Father. Why are you here? What is the purpose and meaning of life? What sort of life is really life and not just vanity? These all find their answers in Him alone, in our Lord Jesus. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, a good understanding have all they that keep His commandments. His praise endures forever!

It is said that on this day in the monasteries, the librarian might have a special gift to give to the other brothers. He was recognized as the Keeper of Wisdom. He got to intone this first of the Great O Antiphons, which mark the final tilt of Advent toward the great joy of the Christmas Feast.

O come, Thou Wisdom from on high
Who ord'rest all things mightily;
To us the path of knowledge show
And teach in her ways to go.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.


Anonymous said...

And for those Lutherans here who are German speakers:

17. Dezember: O Sapientia - O Weisheit

18. Dezember: O Adonai

19. Dezember: O Radix Jesse - O Wurzel Jesse

20. Dezember: O Clavis David - O Schlüssel Davids

21. Dezember: O Oriens - O Morgenstern

22. Dezember: O Rex Gentium - O König der Völker

23. Dezember: O Emmanuel

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

"Our Lord is Logos - the very logic of the universe itself is disclosed in Him, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."

...which is why the Christian religion both meets every test of logic AND far surpasses it. The key is to be able to discern, in various doctrines, what exceeds human logic v. what fails to rise even to the level of human logic. Keep the former, toss out the latter.


Past Elder said...

Can't say about wisdom in monasteries, but I'll tell you about a little old lady librarian in my high school, Sister Leocadia, who kept her religious name and Franciscan habit after most of the rest got all relevant and ditched them.

She looked just like the stereotype of the old fashioned sister unwilling to learn anything new. And was widely assumed to be such, a relic of a bygone age.

Right. That quiet little old lady in late mediaeval cleaning lady clothes noticed this kid hanging around the library who seemed bright enough but had his issues too. She gave him a book -- The Universe and Dr Einstein. A popular presentation of the Special and General Theories of Relativity. Of which she understood every word. And which allowed the kid to move on to some of things that would go into his doctoral dissertation. And I'll bet she knew her O Antiphons too, in Latin.

Guess there WAS something going on under that coif. But as they say, don't tella nobody, especially the Sacred Intergalactic Congregation for the Spirit of Vatican II.