WORD OF ETERNAL BEING
YOU REACH FROM ONE END OF EARTH TO THE OTHER
WITH PROVIDENCE AND TENDERNESS
COME AND TEACH US TO LIVE IN YOUR WAYS.
Each year I yearn for this day when at the hour of vespers we sing the first of the O Antiphons preceding Mary’s prayer in her pregnancy, the Magnificat. Each day the divine child she carries in her womb and in her heart is invoked by a different name leading up to December 23rd and the most popular verse, “O come, O come Emmanuel,” really the most paradoxical statement one can imagine because it would mean, “Come, God, who is already with us.”
In the past I wrote meditations each year as I contemplated these beautiful names of the Holy One. Then one year I slipped into the silence of awe. No more words. Until now. This morning I felt urged to delve once again into the antiphons hoping to discover there a meaning I might hold to in these present times. Whether we agree with the trajectory of these times or not, everywhere I look I hear whispers or cries of the heart. Uncertainty, ambiguity, ambivalence—all describe the heart that is aware. The whole earth is involved, from Washington to Aleppo, from the melting glaciers in the Himalayas to the flooding islands of the Pacific. Every focus of our human endeavors is affected, every discipline of thought, every tradition of belief. Where is Wisdom?
Wisdom is in the depths. We search for her, dig deep into the ground of being to unearth her jewels. Wisdom springs dancing from the Eternal, and Wisdom’s play is the spiral of creation, of universes evolving. Deep and Wide is Wisdom. Wisdom unites. Wisdom is ever compassionate and forgiving. Wisdom holds opposites in balance. When the humble and simple open the door of the heart, Wisdom enters.
Though Wisdom is not present in war of any kind, she is within the hearts of all who struggle, who strive, who mourn, who suffer violence, whose victimization results in acts of violence from which their own suffering increases. And Wisdom mourns, weeps for the suffering world while standing in the core of our carnage. Nothing that we do fails to penetrate the Divine Heart.
Our world stands in dire need of her. O Wisdom, Come.
Today is the 80th birthday of Pope Francis. This coincidence made me sit up and take notice. This pope of simplicity and inclusion and gentle love was born on the day celebrating Wisdom. That makes bells ring in my head! Happy Birthday, Papa Francis!
(to wish him a Happy Birthday: PopeFrancis80@vatican.va)