Brian’s Reflection: Friday, December 17, 2010
O Sapientia, quae ex ore Altissimi prodisti,
attingens a fine usque ad finem, fortiter
suaviter disponensque omnia: veni ad
docendum nos viam prudentiae.
O Wisdom, which camest out of the mouth
of the most High, and reachest from one end
to another, mightily and sweetly ordering all
things: Come and teach us the way of prudence.
O Sapientia, the first “Great O” Antiphon of Advent
On the evening of December 17 the final phase of preparation for Christmas begins with the first of the great "O Antiphons" of Advent. These prayers are seven jewels of liturgical song, one for each day until Christmas Eve. They seem to sum up all our Advent longing for the Savior.
The "O Antiphons" are intoned with special solemnity in monasteries at Vespers, before and after the Magnificat, Mary's prayer of praise and thanksgiving from the Gospel of Luke (2:42-55), which is sung every evening as the climax of this Hour of the Divine Office.
A vestige of the "Great O's" can be seen in verses of the familiar Advent hymn, "O Come, O Come Emmanuel".
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.” (Fr. Roger Landry)
Listen, meditate, on Holy Wisdom, and on Prudence.
Music here: http://www.fisheaters.com/audio/sapientia.mp3