Wednesday, December 18, 2013
December 18th - O Adonai
First of all, feel free to pick up this WONDERFUL CD of Advent and Christmas music from the monks of St. Meinrad by clicking here: http://store.saintmeinrad.edu/scholarshop/music/gregorian-chant-schola-advent-christmas/c-25/c-77/p-480
Latin: O Adonai, et Dux domus Israel,qui Moysi in igne flammae rubi apparuisti,et ei in Sina legem dedisti:veni ad redimendum nos in brachio extento
English: O Adonai and leader of the house of Israel, who appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush and on Sinai gave him the law, come to redeem us with outstretched hand
The monks of St. Meinrad left "Adonai" untranslated, but it is translated by the Church today as "Sacred Lord"
Today's "O Antiphon" recalls the power of God. Here we are reminded that not only is God "wise" (as we sang yesterday) but God is also capable of "shock and awe" and great miracles and power. Yesterday we prayed for enlightenment and understanding; today we cry out as people oppressed by our own sins asking God, in his power and might and lordship, to break the bonds that we have tied ourselves up with.
We so often take for granted what life is like "Post-Christ" but we really think very little about what it was like to live before Christ; we don't think much about what it would have been like not knowing whether we would ever be freed from the debt of our sins. If we possess the slightest bit of empathy, we ought to be able to transport ourselves back to those times and start to get a glimpse of what life before Christ would have been like, and how disorienting and uncertain it would have been.
We too, although knowing that "our redeemer lives" still cry out to God with the same prayer - "come, God, in your power and shock and awe and might, and free us from the bondage that we can not free ourselves from."
As part of my retreat I was reading yesterday from "The Love of God and the Cross of Jesus" By Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange, and in there I came across this wonderful passage:
"In this life, the just man cannot have absolute certitude of being in the state of grace...and hence his presence in us and His absence cannot be known with certainty."
That lack of knowing for certain our fate at any given moment allows us to share something in common with those who lived throughout the Old Testament as well - "Lord, come and save me with your mighty arm!"