17 Dec 2016

Advent 2016 - O Antiphons - O Sapientia (O Holy Wisdom)


O Sapientia, quæ ex ore Altissimi prodiisti, attingens a fine usque ad finem, fortiter suaviterque disponens omnia: veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiæ

O Wisdom, you came forth from the mouth of the Most High and, reaching from beginning to end, you ordered all things mightily and sweetly.  Come, and teach us the way of prudence. 

“O Wisdom, O holy Word of God, you govern all creation with your strong yet tender care. Come and show your people the way to salvation.” 






Isaiah had prophesied, “The spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and fear of the Lord, and his delight shall be the fear of the Lord.” (11:2-3), and “Wonderful is His counsel and great is His wisdom.” (28:29). 

This antiphon, like all the others to follow, is based on a composite of Scripture texts. Sirach 24:3:  "From the mouth of the Most High I came forth, and like mist covered the earth". Wisdom 8:1: "She reaches from end to end mightily and governs all things well".



Holy Wisdom (Hagia Sophia or Sapientia) is here personified, present with God at the beginning of creation.  Traditionally depecited as a woman in iconography and art; Wisdom is seen as a prefigurement of Jesus, the eternal Word of God, the "logos" John described in the opening of his gospel.

Wisdom is the foundation of fear of the Lord, of holiness, or right living: it is wisdom whom we bid to come and teach us prudence.  

The cry "Come" will be repeated again and again, insistent and hope-filled.

If you would like to read or do lectio on scripture for the day:
2016 Reflections on the O Antiphons:


Some reflections from previous years:

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