Reveal among us the light of your presence, that we may behold your power and glory.
Antiphon O Radix Jesse
O Root of Jesse, standing as a sign among the peoples;
before you kings will shut their mouths,
to you the nations will make their prayer:
Come and deliver us, and delay no longer.
(cf Isaiah 11.10, 45.14, 52.15; Romans 15.12)
The angel's entrance (you must realize)
was not what made her frightened. The surprise
he gave her by his coming was no more
than sun or moon-beam stirring on the floor
would give another, — she had long since grown
used to the form that angels wear, descending;
never imaging this coming-down
was hard for them. (O it's past comprehending,
how pure she was. Did not one day, a hind
that rested in a wood, watchfully staring,
feel her deep influence, and did it not
conceive the unicorn, then, without pairing,
the pure beast, beast which light begot, — )
No, not to see him enter, but to find
the youthful angel’s countenance inclined
so near to her; that when he looked, and she
looked up at him, their looks so merged in one
the world outside grew vacant, suddenly,
and all things being seen, endured and done
were crowded into them: just she and he
eye and its pasture, visions and its view,
here at the point and at this point alone:—
see, this arouses fear. Such fear both knew.
From The Life of Mary by Rainer Maria Rilke—From Selected Work, Vol. II Poetry, translated by J.B. Leishman, Hogarth Press, 1960.
Be-Attitude: Blessed are the meek who practise self-restraint and self-control.
God of surprising grace,
when we least expect it
you bring fresh new life;
and where we feel that all is lost,
you bring redemption.
Give us courage as we share
all you have done,
all you are doing,
and all you will accomplish
through Jesus Christ.
—Presbyterian World Service & Development.