Monday, December 24, 2007

Advent Ended, Christmastide Begins

Christmas shopping is over, and more importantly, with the praying of None from the Breviary, Advent has come to an end; come to an end, with the last repetition of the Vigil collect, summing up all of Advent's burden, its hopes and fears, praying that as we have rejoiced at His first Advent, so we may not be ashamed at His glorious and dread Return:

Deus, qui nos redemptionis nostræ annua expectatione lætificas: præsta; ut Unigenitum tuum, quem Redemptorem læti suscipimus, venientem quoque Judicem securi videamus, Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium tuum: Qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia sæcula sæculorum.  R/.  Amen.

(O God, who dost gladden us by the yearly expectation of our redemption: grant; that Thy Onlybegotten, Whom we joyfully receive as Redeemer, we likewise may securely behold as our coming Judge, Our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son: Who with Thee liveth and reigneth in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.  R/.  Amen.)

As the rubric says, Post Nonam explicit tempus Adventus et incipit tempus natalicium.

In half an hour the Angelus will ring, and sometime later, around dusk (sunset here where I'm on holiday isn't till a bit before 9 pm), I'll ring in Christmas with 1st Vespers, Deo volente.

While saying my Rosary as I walked back from town, I was suddenly struck by an unoriginal thought: Jesus Christ is the answer to every petition of the Lord's Prayer:

Our Father, Who art in heaven... [Our Father, because we are brothers in Christ, the Father's most dearly beloved Onlybegotten]

Hallowed be Thy Name, 
Thy Kingdom come, 
Thy Will be done, 
[all three] 
on earth, as it is in heaven.  ['Tis Christ, the God-Man, Who alone truly, really, and perfectly hallows God's ineffable Name, for He is the Logos Who offers, Who Is, rational worship in Person; He is the Kingdom of God (as Origen descried long ago); He Is the perfect fulfilment and Fulfiller of the Divine Will, Which He shares with the Father and the Spirit.]

Give us this day our daily [supersubstantial] Bread.  [Christ is the True Bread, that alone satisfies a starving world – "O God our God, Who hast given us the True Bread, the Food of the entire world, our God and our Lord, Jesus Christ..." (from the Byzantine Rite Prothesis).]

And forgive us our trespasses [only Christ the Lamb of God is the expiation, the propitiation that can take the world's sins away] 
as we forgive those who trespass against us [only Christ can truly forgive the sins of others – "Father, forgive them..." – and only He can give us the grace to do the same, in Him].

And lead us not into temptation, 
but deliver us from evil [only Christ is the Way, Truth, and Life, Who leads us not into false ways, Who gives us the power to escape every testing and trial, Who alone can and will deliver us from the evil of ourselves, from the evil of others,  from the world, the flesh, and the devil, from the terrible quartet of sin, Satan, death, and hell].

Amen.  [Christ is the Amen of God (Apoc. iii, 14; cf. II Cor. i, 19-20).]

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