O Adonai Dec. 18
- Some folks missed this one, don't know what I did, but here it is at last!
"O Adonai and Ruler of the house of Israel, You appeared to Moses in
the fire of the burning bush, and on Mount Sinai gave him Your Law:
Come, and with an outstretched arm redeem us!"
Adonai, the Hebrew word meaning "Lord" had its vowel points used
under the divine Name in Hebrew to warn the reader to substitute the
euphemism "Lord" rather than say God's Name. Applied to Jesus, in
symbolic shorthand this says that Jesus is the God of the Covenant.
In NT Greek, this was rendered "Kyrios" and therein lies an
interesting connection to another antiphon, that of the Magnificat on
Ascension. There, in the words of St. John's Gospel, Jesus tells His
Father: "I have made known Your Name." The name here is Yahweh, since
the Greek referent is Kyrios. In other words, to say Adonai of Jesus
is plainly to say that Jesus is God, is Yahweh.
The use of "house" here is in the sense of "family", Jesus is the
Ruler of the family of Israel. One may see a survival of that usage
of house in our modern reference to the "house" of Windsor to mean
the whole royal family. (Believe it or not, the Windsor reference
came from me, the Yank.)
The stress of connections between Yahweh and Jesus is repeated twice
more: it was Jesus Who spoke to Moses in the burning bush, Jesus Who
gave the Law on Sinai. The first has always been a more popularly
known patristic idea in the East. I have had Western priests come
hesitantly close to arguing with me when I have expressed that very
strong tradition in the East of Christ in the burning bush. Perhaps
they are to be forgiven for forgetting an antiphon that only comes
once a year, but lex orandi, lex credendi: the law of prayer is the
law of faith.
A third and final identification of Jesus with Yahweh is the image of
the outstretched arm. The OT is rich with references to this. It is
with "outstretched arm" that God shows His power and might, leads His
people out of Egypt, delivers them from dangers. Just as Jesus was
identified with the burning bush and the Law, so now He is linked to
the Passover itself.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
Prayers for Darilynn, feeling ill and needing strength to lead a prayer cenacle she is committed to.
Prayers for Dorothy B., she badly needs to recover from secondary effects of a virus before her whole family gathers for an important milestone celebration.
Prayers for Lynn, multiple infections and multiple surgeries. ill for a long time, now scheduled for yet another surgery. Many prayers.
Prayers for the pro-life movement in the UK, threatened by proposed legislation which would ban silent prayers and vigils outside abortion clinics.
Prayers for Ellen Barbara, pancreatic cancer.
Prayers for Jean, dementia and in a nursing home.
Prayers for Fathers Brendan and Basil, being evicted in ten days and robbed of some money they badly need. Many prayers.
Prayers for the eternal rest of David T., and for all his family, especially John, and for all who mourn him.
Prayers for Amanda B., in the hospital.
Lord, help us all as You know and will. God's will is best. All is
mercy and grace. God is never absent, praise Him! Thanks so much. JL
April 13, August 13, December 13
Chapter 59: On the Sons of Nobles and of the Poor Who Are Offered
If anyone of the nobility offers his son to God in the monastery
and the boy is very young, let his parents draw up the document which
we mentioned above; and at the oblation let them wrap the document
itself and the boy's hand in the altar cloth. That is how they offer
As regards their property, they shall promise in the same petition
under oath that they will never of themselves, or through an
intermediary, or in any way whatever, give him anything or provide
him with the opportunity of owning anything. Or else, if they are
unwilling to do this,
and if they want to offer something as an alms to the monastery for
their advantage, let them make a donation of the property they wish
to give to the monastery, reserving the income to themselves if they
And in this way let everything be barred, so that the boy may have no
expectations whereby (which God forbid) he might be deceived and
ruined, as we have learned by experience.
Let those who are less well-to-do make a similar offering. But those
who have nothing at all shall simply draw up the document and offer
their son before witnesses at the oblation.
This is the chapter that allows us to have (and be!) Oblates. How
different would all of our lives be if this chapter had never been
written! While I dwell on the Order as a whole in this reflection,
how drastically different and how impoverished my life would be
without Oblates. How very deeply my life is shaped by so many of you
and how very grateful for that I am!
Reflect a moment on how rich your life WOULDN'T be if you had no
Benedictine family, if the Order had never even been founded. Think
about brothers, sisters and friends whom you would not know, about
what you would have missed. For starters, many of us would not be
members on at least a couple of the forums this appears on- they
wouldn't exist! Our wonderful fraternity in cyberspace would have
never happened at all.
In my own life there would have been no St. Leo, no Brother Patrick,
no Petersham nor Pluscarden. My college degree would never have
happened and my dear friend, Jean Ronan, would never have even met
me, let alone taught me theology.
Every single thing I ever received from the Benedictine Order, all the
example, all the awe and joy, and yes, even all the pain that formed
me, would never have existed, nor would I have had any role in the
lives of my Benedictine family of brothers and sisters. Nada. Zilch.
Often the best way to access a treasure is to imagine its loss. We
can take for granted things which are of inestimable value. Make
today's chapter an opportunity for such an assessment. Carry it even
further, to some other dear and wonderful things in your life. What
if there were no Church? What if you had no family ? (I know, I
know... sometimes that sounds tempting! But even in dysfunctional
families, you would NEVER be exactly who you are without them.) Often
the best appreciation of how things are can be had by such
We all owe a great, great deal to St. Benedict and to his sons and
daughters. Let us pray for our Benedictine family and give thanks,
deep thanks for the gift we have all received!
Love and prayers,