Friday, December 23, 2016

O Emmanuel . . .

23 December

O Emmanuel,
Rex et legifer noster,
exspectatio gentium, et Salvator earum:
veni ad salvandum nos Domine Deus noster.

O Emmanuel,
God with us, our King and lawgiver,
the expected of the nations and their Savior:

come to save us, O Lord our God.

Photo:  Chapel of the Holy Spirit at Campion Center, Weston, MA.   All four advent candles are lit for the last day of advent. 

Meditation:  Advent has run its course.  With the dawn tomorrow we will begin the Great Feast, commemorating that Jesus Christ, true man and true God, was born.  Try to put the sloppily sentimental imagery associated with Christmas out of your head.  What we call "The Christmas Story" does not end with Hosanna, in Excelsis and a star.  That is only the beginning of the story of our redemption.  There was much to be suffered before the final chapter in the history of our salvation through Jesus' saving act would be written.   Consider the manger and the shadow the cross casts on it.


Give us, O God, the vision which can see Your love in the world
in spite of human failure.
Give us the faith to trust Your goodness
in spite of our ignorance and weakness.
Give us the knowledge that we may continue to pray with understanding hearts.
And show us what each one of us can do
to set forward the coming of the day of universal peace.

                                             Frank Borman,
                                                            Apollo 8 space mission, 1968

Background for this prayer.  I have few English-language resources here for prayer other than my breviary and a missal.  While searching for a prayer for this entry I stumbled across something on the internet I'd forgotten about.  On Christmas Eve 1968 the Apollo 8 astronauts, Bill Anders, Jim Lovell, and Frank Borman broadcast live from their space capsule.  Each of them read part of Genesis chapters 1-10 while orbiting the moon.  An interesting side note is that Madalyn Murray O'Hair, a notorious atheist, sued the U.S. government for violating the first amendment.  The Supreme Court dismissed the suit due to lack of jurisdiction.  Borman also wrote the above prayer for Christmas Day.  It is most appropriate today.

Lagniappe: 'O Come, O Come Emmanuel.'  Even more appropriate tonight than the first day of Advent. (Latin) (English)

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