Monday, December 19, 2016

O Root of Jesse . . .

19 December

O Radix Jesse, qui stas in signum populorum,
super quem continebunt reges os suum,
quem gentes deprecabuntur:
veni ad liberandum nos, iam noli tardare.

O Root of Jesse, that stands for an ensign of the people,
before whom the kings keep silence
and unto whom the Gentiles shall make supplication:

come, to deliver us, and tarry not.

Photo: Detail of a tree motif from the pulpit in the chapel of the University of Melbourne, Australia.  The warm light is the result of sunlight streaming through stained glass.  Sometimes a small detail makes more of a statement than the whole.  Sometimes a small act of kindness gives us more than winning a lottery.

Meditation: Consider the tree that grew from the root of Jesse.  The roots of that tree anchor the earth.  The tree is a symbol of life.  It is the symbol of eternal life.  The tree from which Adam and Eve ate represents hubris over humility.  The tree on which Jesus hung reverses the equation. Humility and obedience conquered hubris once and for all.  Consider a cross without a corpus.  Imagine carrying it on your shoulders for the sake of someone else. Imagine Jesus carrying it on his shoulders, and then hanging on it, for the sake of the entire universe.

Lagniappe:  I Know That My Redeemer Liveth from "Messiah" by Eileen Farrell

Patient Trust (Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ from Hearts on Fire)

Above all, trust in the slow work of God
We are quite naturally impatient in everything
   to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something
   unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress
   that it is made by passing through
   some stages of instability—
   and that it may take a very long time.

And so I think it is with you.
   your ideas mature gradually—let them grow,
   let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
Don't try to force them on,
   as though you could be today what time
   (that is to say, grace and circumstances
   acting on your own good will)
   will make of you tomorrow.

Only God could say what this new spirit
   gradually forming within you will be.
Give Our Lord the benefit of believing
   that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
   in suspense and incomplete.

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