Wednesday, 21 December 2011

The Long Night

Today's 'O' Antiphon is O Oriens:

'O Dayspring, Brightness of Light everlasting, and Sun of Righteousness: Come and enlighten those who sit in darkness, and the shadow of death.'

In this part of our world, we come to the shortest day of the year.Here is part of a Christmas/winter solstice chant from the Isle of Barra:

'This night is the long night,
it will snow and it will drift,
white snow there will be till day,
white moon there will be till morn.
This night is the eve of the Great Nativity,
this night is born Mary Virgin's Son,
this night is born Jesus, Son of the King of Glory...'

As I write the winter Sun is veiled in thick cloud (full of snow?), but the other evening,while walking with our dog, I saw its light reflected by both Jupiter and Venus - like bright lamps against the clear, frosty twilight. Kingship and Love; Power and Beauty. I love the way the physical heavens can teach us the things of God... In  William Blake's words:

'"What," it will be Question'd, "when the Sun rises, do you not see a round disk of fire somewhat like a Guinea?" O no, no, I see an Innumerable company of the Heavenly host crying, "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty."'

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