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Monday, November 30, 2009

Nunc Dimittis: Advent Is Darkness, Sleep, & Waiting

©2009, Randall A. Beeler
Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake; watch over us as we sleep, that, awake, we may keep watch w/ Christ and asleep rest in His peace. (Antiphon to the Canticle of Simeon, Compline [Night Prayer] of the Catholic Church Liturgy of the Hours)
Advent is about sleep, holy sleep. Branches laden with snow, even if you live in the Brazos Valley of Texas, where snow comes once a decade and in a layer of 1/2-inch that lasts maybe the morning.

Advent is holy darkness. Darkness during the Daily Mass you attended all year in the sunlight—but now, the stained glass is hidden from your sight. And you trust that Mary is still there, stepping on the serpent, even as you take in your breath when the Eucharist is held aloft and you hear (and whisper)
Dying, You destroyed our death; rising, You restored our life. Lord Jesus, come in glory.
Advent is waiting. Like Simeon waited. And being given one brief glimpse. And that is enough.
Lord, now you let your servant go in peace;
Your word has been fulfilled:

my own eyes have seen the salvation
which you have prepared in the sight of every people:

a light to reveal you to the nations
and the glory of your people Israel.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now and shall be forever, world without end. Amen.
Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake; watch over us as we sleep, that, awake, we may keep watch w/ Christ and asleep rest in His peace. Amen.

Happy Advent, one and all.
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  1. So, I know it's Dan Schutte, but It's still a favorite:

    Holy Darkness
    by Dan Schutte

    Holy darkness, blessed night,
    heaven's answer hidden from our sight.
    As we await you, O God of silence,
    we embrace your holy night.

    1. I have tried you in fires of affliction;
    I have taught your soul to grieve.
    In the barren soil of your loneliness,
    there I will plant my seed.

    2. I have taught you the price of compassion;
    you have stood before the grave.
    Though my love can seem
    like a raging storm,
    this is the love that saves.

    3. Were you there
    when I raised up the mountains?
    Can you guide the morning star?
    Does the hawk take flight
    when you give command?
    Why do you doubt my pow'r?

    4. In your deepest hour of darkness
    I will give you wealth untold.
    When the silence stills your spirit,
    will my riches fill your soul.
    5. As the watchman waits for morning,
    and the bride awaits her groom,
    so we wait to hear your footsteps
    as we rest beneath your moon.

  2. Great Advent reflection. Thank you for sharing this with me.


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