Before the feast of Christmas, the coming Saviour is welcomed in seven antiphons, which greet Him under various titles, and entreat Him to come quickly to enlighten and deliver His people.
“O Wisdom, Who earnest forth from the mouth of the Most High, reaching in Thy strength from end to end, and sweetly disposing all things, come and teach us the way of prudence.”
1. The first title given to Jesus is that of Wisdom. He was the Eternal Wisdom of God, and the source of all wisdom to men from one end of time to the other. With Him all wisdom; without Him no wisdom. Yet I have sometimes fancied myself wise when I was acting quite apart from Him, and perhaps His wishes or commands. What utter folly!
2. It is the Eternal Word that disposes all things sweetly. Everything that happens in heaven or earth is arranged by Him, and is arranged not unkindly, or harshly, or bitterly, but sweetly. Why then do I regret what I ought to know He has arranged sweetly, i.e. with designs of love for me if I take it in the right spirit?
3. Come and teach us the way of prudence. This is our first petition to Him Who is to come. If only He imparts prudence, all must be well. Prudence chooses the right end, viz., the glory of God, and the right means to the end, viz., what we know God asks of us now, and in our present circumstances.
Teach me, O Jesus, that lesson of prudence which will guide me safe to the kingdom of heaven.
The Particular Judgment
We must all be manifested before the judgment-seat of Christ. (2 Cor. v. 10.)
1. At the Particular Judgment we shall see our lives as they never appeared to us before. In an instant we shall live them over again. Each thought, word, act, will be clear and distinct, with its true character no longer hidden by our own willful blindness, but in all its foulness, baseness, ingratitude, revealed to us in the bright light of God.
2. We shall then stand face to face with Jesus Christ, no longer as our Advocate, but as our Judge; no longer pleading for us, but dealing out strict justice, according to our deserts. He will be clothed with a divine glory that will attract us and at the same time fill us with dismay at the thought of having offended Him. St. Teresa said that what struck her most forcibly in the vision she had of Him was how awful would be the anger of one so full of divine sweetness.
3. Yet we need not fear the judgment if we make Christ our friend now. If we earn His gratitude by doing all we can to please Him, He will not remember our former sins. He will look to what we are, not what we have been. He will not remember the sins of those who love Him with all their hearts. The same St. Teresa said: “Why should I fear the judgment when my Judge will be my best friend?”
Pray that you may forestall the judgment by a careful examination of your conscience now, and an earnest desire to please your Judge.
This article, Day 21 (Dec 17) O Sapientia & The Particular Judgment (Advent Meditation) is a post from The Bellarmine Forum.
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