Sunday, December 18, 2011


Heading out to Manhattan in a little while for a little merrymaking with the brothers.

First we'll see the big tree in Rockefeller Center and peer into St. Patrick's Cathedral. From there we'll make our way to St. John the Baptist on 31st Street for the Advent vespers service there. From the 17th to the 23rd of December, the Church heightens its vigil for the once-and-future coming of Christ by proclaiming the "O" antiphons at evening prayer. These antiphons, which derive from the ancient hymn "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" (Veni Veni Emmanuel), have been prayed by the Church for centuries. Each antiphon lifts a name for Christ; he is Wisdom, the Rod of Jesse, Key of David, and Desire of Nations, among others. With confidence in the source of our salvation, we, too, name our hope and claim what we have named. It is particularly fitting for young aspiring religious to become practiced at pointing out, with praise, the epiphanies of grace come down from heaven's frontier and still presenting. One day yet, the hymns of joy will thunder with a strength to topple the walls we have built to keep the love of God out of our world and ourselves.

After vespers we will have dinner and share fellowship with the friars at St. John the Baptist. We look forward to our time together. Let it be bright and cheerful.

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