Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Day 17 (art meditations + suggested resources for Advent)

"Advent is about learning to wait. It is about not having to know exactly what is coming tomorrow, only that whatever it is, it is of the essence of sanctification for us. Every piece of it, some hard, some uplifiting, is sign of the work of God alive in us. We are becoming as we go. We learn in Advent to stay in the present, knowing that only the present well lived can possibly lead us to the fullness of life." (Chittister)

During Advent I'll forego my weekly Buy More Art posts in order to share almost-daily meditations of Scripture, hymns, and art reflecting the alternate narrative and subversive time of waiting in hope for the Christ who came, the Christ who will come again and the Christ now among us.

Won't you join me?

Third Monday of Advent:
"In the first centuries the Church had a beautiful custom of praying seven great prayers calling afresh on Christ to come, calling him by the mysterious titles he has in Isaiah, calling to him; O Wisdom. O Root! O Key, O Light! come to us!"  (Malcolm Guite)
December 17 - O Sapientia (O Wisdom)

Isaiah 11:2-3
 "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."

Isaiah 28:29

"Wonderful is His counsel and great is His wisdom."

The original antiphon in Latin and English (via Malcolm Guite)

O Sapientia
O Sapientia, quae ex ore Altissimi prodiisti, attingens a fine usque ad finem, fortiter suaviterque disponens omnia:
veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae.
O Wisdom, coming forth from the mouth of the
Most High,
reaching from one end to the other mightily,
and sweetly ordering all things:
Come and teach us the way of prudence.

O Sapientia re-written by Malcolm Guite

I cannot think unless I have been thought,
Nor can I speak unless I have been spoken.
I cannot teach except as I am taught,
Or break the bread except as I am broken.
O Mind behind the mind through which I seek,
O Light within the light by which I see,
O Word beneath the words with which I speak,
O founding, unfound Wisdom, finding me,
O sounding Song whose depth is sounding me,
O Memory of time, reminding me,
My Ground of Being, always grounding me,
My Maker’s Bounding Line, defining me,
Come, hidden Wisdom, come with all you bring,
Come to me now, disguised as everything.

Master of Flemalle, 1420s

O Sapientia rewritten by Thom Turner at Everyday Liturgy

O Sapientia

O Wisdom,
coming to us as the voice of God
The rushing wind of your voice
hovers over the earth, 
calling us back to the peacefulness of Eden.
Come now and teach us discernment.

A song of hope for all things to be made clear:

Amid the fears and frustrations tumults and tribulations
All of the whys and wherefores
Itʼll all flee as the night vanishes with morning light
And then he comes a knockinʼ at your door.

Suggested Resources for Advent:

O Antiphons: A Theological Translation by Thom Turner

Sounding the Seasons: Poetry for the Christian Year by Malcolm Guite

Keening for the Dawn:  album from Steve Bell in collaboration with Malcolm Guite

"I keep expecting loud and impressive events to convince me and others of God's saving powers. Our temptation is to be distracted by them. When I have no eyes for the small signs of God's presence ... I will always remain tempted to despair." -- Henri Jozef Machiel NouwenGracias! A Latin American Journal (1983)
 (via Diary of An Arts Pastor)
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