Taste and See: Mysteries of light

dsc00386-nativity-rope

Twelve days of Christmas are counted in the old song.

Today is one of them, but even more importantly in the Church’s mind is that today lies in the Octave of Christmas – eight days in which we remain focused on the mystery of God’s love revealed in God made flesh.*

The Collect of Christmas Night has us call on God to help us remain mindful of the Mysteries of revelation, so that we may progress to teh glory they anticipate.

O God, who have made this most sacred night
radiant with the splendour of the true light,
grant, we pray, that we, who have known the mysteries of his light on earth,
may also delight in his gladness in heaven.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

* Eight Days which themselves are part of the season of Christmas that last until the
feast of the Baptism of the Lord – this year being kept on Monday 9th January.

  • Nativity figures by Margaret Rope. Photograph (c) 2016, Allen Morris

Speak Lord: Master of all we survey….

Ampleforth blossomThe responsorial Psalm for Sunday, the Baptism of the Lord, reminds of the glory and wonder of God. it also reminds of our dependence and contingency.

Bless the Lord, my soul! Lord God, how great you are. 

Lord God, how great you are,
clothed in majesty and glory,
wrapped in light as in a robe!
You stretch out the heavens like a tent.

Bless the Lord, my soul! Lord God, how great you are.

Above the rains you build your dwelling.
You make the clouds your chariot,
you walk on the wings of the wind,
you make the winds your messengers
and flashing fire your servant.

Bless the Lord, my soul! Lord God, how great you are.

How many are your works, O Lord!
In wisdom you have made them all.
The earth is full of your riches.
There is the sea, vast and wide,
with its moving swarms past counting,
living things great and small.

Bless the Lord, my soul! Lord God, how great you are.

All of these look to you
to give them their food in due season.
You give it, they gather it up:
you open your hand, they have their fill.

Bless the Lord, my soul! Lord God, how great you are.

You hide your face, they are dismayed;
you take back your spirit, they die.
You send forth your spirit, they are created;
and you renew the face of the earth.

Bless the Lord, my soul! Lord God, how great you are.

Psalm 103:1-4,24-25,27-30

In the turning of seasons we are often more aware than usual of the vastness of creation, and the enormity of the changes in the natural world.

The changes in our emotional, more, intellectual lives are often great too. SOmetimes they can lead us closer to God, sometimes they seem to lead us away from him.

  • Where do you find yourself now?
  • What is moving/changing?
  • What is remaining the same?

Spring Blossom. Ampleforth Abbey. (c) 2006, Allen Morris.