Merry Christmas!


O great mystery and wonderful sacrament:
that animals should see the new-born Lord lying in a manger!
Blessed is the Virgin whose womb was worthy to bear
Christ the Lord.



O Emmanuel

God with us!

O Emmanuel, our King and lawgiver, the expectation of the nations and their Savior: come to save us, O Lord our God.

O come, o come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here,
Until the Son of God appear.

Good reflections here.

Last O Antiphon!  Remember: Erocras I’ll be there tomorrow!

putting my tears into perspective

It was helpful to come home to this tonight:

Who would have thought that NPR (of all places) would feature the Nashville Dominicans?  I’m listening to the story right now, and it’s heart-warming to hear the beautiful voices of my friends Sr Beatrice and Sr Joan of Arc (my name-share-r, as of this past August).

Tonight I went to Compline to pray with the Sisters, knowing this was my one chance to see my own sister, at least from afar.  The chapel was so full — all the Sisters are home from across the country (and, literally, the world) — I was worried I wouldn’t see her.  But God heard my whispered prayer and I managed to catch a glimpse of her when the Sisters processed through the chapel for the Salve, again when she was returning to her seat, and then last when she was taking her books to her new choir stall assignment.

Unless my memory is misleading me, I think this is the first Christmas we won’t be visiting Sister.  It just won’t work out this year.  I won’t lie — it isn’t easy.  Christmas is the hardest time for me to give Sister to Christ.

But through my tears tonight in the chapel, I realized that in this suffering is great joy.  This is the life to which He has called her, and this is her path to Heaven.  In a very real way, that means it’s my path too.

I’ve been doing a novena to the Blessed Mother leading up to Christmas, and part of the prayer surrenders everything into her hands — “all I am and have, without reserve…”  As I was praying it tonight, I realized that my selfishness in wanting God’s plan to be mine, wanting Sister with me and not with her Sisters — is contrary to everything I’m praying with my lips.  The prayer continues, “… wherever you enter, you obtain the grace of conversion and growth in holiness, since it is through your hands that all graces come to us from the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus….”

This is a great grace.  The grace of surrender, of detachment, of loving Sister so much that I allow her to live her marriage to Christ.

It ain’t easy.  But it’s growth in holiness.

Dinner and a Movie

or, a Movie and Dinner.

Name the movie above….

Today after work I went to the movies with my friend Liza.  There’s an old theatre down here that plays a lot of independent films, artsy films, and documentaries you wouldn’t see at other theatres.  They also play old movies on the weekends.

And for the last week or two, they’ve been showing It’s a Wonderful Life.   Liza asked if I wanted to go for my birthday (which is celebrated from Thanksgiving until Christmas, according to her), and I jumped at the chance to see it on the big screen.

That movie is as wonderful the millionth time as it is the first.

Afterwards, we went across the street for beer and hot dogs.

I had the Rise n’ Shine…. a hot dog with bacon, cheese sauce, and a fried egg.

It was really good… but I’m pretty sure my cholesterol has reached unhealthy levels.

O Oriens

A fitting title for our Messiah for the darkest day of the year.

O dawn of the east, brightness of light eternal, and sun of justice: come, and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.

O come, Thou Dayspring, come and cheer,
Our spirits by Thine advent here;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.

There are several different translations of this O Antiphon, including Rising Sun, Dayspring, Radiant Dawn, and Morning Star. So I stuck with the Latin for the post title.

Good reflections here.

O Key of David

O Key of David, and scepter of the house of Israel, who opens and no man shuts, who shuts and no man opens: come, and bring forth the captive from his prison, he who sits in darkness and in the shadow of death.

O come, thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.

As usual, good reflections here.