Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Oh Those Antiphons!

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.

Rough one this, to meditate upon my Lord, when I recall standing at the massive canyon which was gouged out on 9/11; watching shock and awe; tsunami waves and Katrina’s punch; earthquakes grinding lives to dust while lesser famines, or so them seem since they don’t get much tv time, haunt my visions of the night.

Your governance of creation appears not as we expect, even though our messing around with natural law is not something we consider as playing havoc with Your tenderness.

The way You show us has always been, is, unchanging: from Your tender handcrafting clothes for the naked, frightened, original havoc players to the people’s living in the darkness of an occupied land wherein You shone as newborn babe; to that room where You wash our feet, feed us, to the Garden where You bleed-pray for us, to the Cross become ultimate prayer-cry-offering to the Father for us: love is the way.

O Sacred Lord of ancient Israel, who showed Yourself to Moses in the burning bush, who gave him the holy law on Sinai mountain; come, stretch out Your mighty hand to set us free.

A dangerous prayer is this.

Dangerous because we admit You are You, the One True Father of all and we admit our need to be set free.

Freed from a bondage so tight only the All-Powerful You can snap the bonds and set us free………but partly it is an illusion what we protest as that which binds us: sickness, hunger, fear, death, lack of money, companions, whatever….when in truth what truly binds us is our blindness to the Gospel of Life!

O Flower of Jesse’s stem, You have been raised up as a sign for all peoples; kings stand silent in Your presence; the nations bow down in worship before You. Come, let nothing keep You from coming to our aid.

Yes, nothing: not our insatiable appetite for abortion, anger, terrorism, hatred, discrimination, un-natural ways of reconstructing both the earth and our very selves; not our doubts, fears, tears, nor even that great crime of ours which forgets all about You until we are in crisis mode.


O Key of David, O Royal Power of Israel controlling at Your will the gate of heaven: come, break down the prison walls of death for those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death; and lead Your captive people into freedom.

You must begin with the prison walls of my own heart.

The walls of every heart closed to brother or sister, for any reason.

Hatred places the hater in the dwelling of darkness.

O Jesus, my heart aches for those in the shadow of death in alleyways and crack houses, at needles end; those of tender and not so tender years imprisoned in the shadows awaiting another buyer; there are the prisons of loneliness, death row, even houses that appear as homes but are places of darkness – You offer the key: forgive us as we forgive opens the Father’s heart and prison walls crumble.

O Radiant Dawn, splendour of eternal light, sun of justice: come, shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.

This is our hope Little One, Holy One, child so small we can hold against our breast You against whose breast we ache to lean, to listen, to hear how dawn sounds, how light sounds, how justice rains down as mercy.

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.

We are so exhausted on this earth of mistaking or attempting pleasure as alternate to joy. We can scare remember, nor imagine, what joy is.

The ache of our being, the tears which burn our cheeks, the restlessness which pursues us even when awake, have us, at this time of year, all wanting to be guarding some flock, or at least be near the right cave;  following some camel, or at least finally picking the right star.

We may forget You, neglect You most of the time, or some of the time, or perhaps rarely, but even once is too much – yet consciously, sincerely, uncertainly, tentatively, even perhaps unawares – we do want You Child to come among us once more that we might see the beauty of Your Face O Child for such is joy.

O Emmanuel, king and lawgiver, desire of the nations, Saviour of all people, come and set us free, Lord our God.

1 comment:

~m2~ said...

Fr., you have such an anointing on you. i read and am taken and mesmerized. you speak to and through the depths of your heart and it resonates to the depths of mine (and your other readers, i am certain of it!)

thank you.