NIGHT PRAYER: Wednesday 2/2

On the church calendar, February 2 is the Feast of the Presentation.  In ancient times, it was the Jewish custom to present a newborn child in the temple, 40 days after birth. (So, yes - Christmas was 40 days ago!) Today's gospel at mass tells this story in which Simeon, an old man, has been praying in the temple for years, waiting to meet the Promised One whom he recognizes in the child Jesus.  Having met the One who is to come, Simeon prays that he is now ready to be taken home by God.  This is a feast for all who struggle to find, to meet, to know the Lord.  My friend John McGinty has written this beautiful reflection on our desire to meet God...

My desire is to meet you,
the real You.

Not the you my mind creates when I read about you,
even when that reading is Word;
Not the God my emotions conjure when I am alone and lonely,
or uncertain and afraid,
or unable to see a way ahead.

Not the you that others have told me about;
Not even the you whose voice I believed I heard when
as a young man I committed to follow you
to the Table, to the Tomb, and to the light beyond the darkness.

Not the God whom well-oiled well-speakers preach 
in this grand old republic;
nor the you whose Name is evoked with speed 
by bitter opponents of one another,
each apparently certain of your itinerary and intent.

My desire is to meet the real you,
undomesticated and anything-but-housebound;
the terrible You;
terrifying in all your attributes:
Louder than a season of tornadoes, potentially more destructive;
and still as still as deepest space;
More vast than the largest desert on the driest planet,
and yet so slight that a single grain of sand is your universe;
More complex than all creatures who move and breathe,
but simpler than one iota of one strand of the DNA 
of your simplest creation.

It is you I want to meet and hear, whether you seek me, or I you,
or each in the same everlasting instant.

And in that singular encounter, to be
absolutely ended, and
completely begun.

Come Light of lights into the shroud of this night, and shine.
I fear you, and I love you.

I have nothing to fear and everything to love.

Come now...


In tonight's musical reflection, you'll find the source of the verse
with which our Night Prayer here concludes every evening.  Compline
is the official night of the church and it ends with the singing of the
Canticle of Simeon.  The antiphon which precedes and follows this 
song is the verse that closes our Night Prayer here.

Canticle of Simeon by Steven Warner
If a widget doesn't appear below, click here!

Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake,
watch over us as we sleep
that awake, we may keep watch with Christ
and asleep, rest in his peace...

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 will be forever.  Amen.

Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake,
watch over us as we sleep
as awake, we may keep watch with Christ
and asleep, rest in his peace...





No comments:

Post a Comment

Please THINK before you write
and PRAY before you think!