Thursday, December 17, 2009

O Sapientia

O Sapientia, quæ ex ore Altissimi prodiisti, attingens a fine usque ad finem, fortiter suaviterque disponens omnia : veni ad docendum nos viam prudéntiæ.
O Wisdom, which camest out of the mouth of the Most High, and reachest from one end to another, mightily and sweetly ordering all things: Come and teach us the way of prudence.
— Great “O” Antiphon for Vespers, on December 17th.

The liturgy for Advent starts with an expectation of the end of the world and Second Coming of Our Lord; then it considers the preaching of Saint John the Baptist, forerunner of the Messiah; now it shifts to ancient prophesy of the coming of Our Savior, which culminates in Christmas.

Each O Antiphon is a title of the Messiah: click here for more information.

Contemporary society has a schizophrenic personality: we have a view of the cosmos made of impersonal elementary particles and forces, with scientific knowledge building up from there — and we have a view of the person as a radically free individual, who infallibly creates his own meaning and morality. These are incompatible views of the human person and of knowledge, and so we often choose one and then another — or more often — chose the radical view for ourselves, and the materialistic view for everyone else.

But the older view recognizes the existence of wisdom — knowledge that comes from above, from the general to the particular, drawing conclusions from the highest causes. Wisdom is problematic for contemporary man, for it contradicts the atheism and moral relativism of the world. But even the scientific method implies wisdom, for modern science is not possible without a Platonic view of mathematics, and radical individualism assumes that individuals actually have being, which implies the existence of a supreme being. New systems of thought are quickly proposed, accepted, and then rejected when the inevitable conclusion of wisdom becomes clear.

Contemporary man flees wisdom, due to pride and the desire for sin, but wisdom still pursues him; there is only one place where man can stop this pursuit and completely rid himself of wisdom, and that is in Hell.

Wisdom saves, and Wisdom is a person. May we pray that Wisdom comes to us, and quickly!

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