This is the 3rd year we have held the Advent service titled “And Evening with the O’Antiphons’. The O’Antiphons are the antiphons used in the Vesper Services in the Liturgy of the Hours from Dec 17th to Dec 23rd. They have a long and robust history in the Church dating back to about the 400s. You might better know them from the Advent Hymn we all know O Come Emmanuel. Anyway; I get 7 deacons together and we each take one of the O’Antiphons and reflect on it. It can be anything that moves us. Tonight I had the first O’Antiphon – O Sapientia (O Wisdom).
O Sapientia (O Wisdom)
The Antiphon: O Wisdom, you come forth from the mouth of the Most High. You fill the universe and hold all things together in a strong yet gentle manner. O come to teach us the way of truth.
I have this habit of watching science shows, especially ones about the cosmos. It is amazing, simply amazing what is out there and how we think it works. The beauty of the universe is only matched by the intricacies of its structure and logic. The idea of this being a haphazard series of events just doesn’t hold under its own weight. Chaos doesn’t lead to order, it can’t by its own definition. This has even been alluded to by some of the great scientists, there has to be something behind this immensity. Einstein once commented about the laws of nature:”there is revealed such a superior Reason that everything significant which has arisen out of human thought and arrangement is, in comparison with it, the merest empty reflection.”
Mankind is constantly pushing the boundaries of learning about the universe and how it works. We are getting very good in explain how things work, from the cells in our body to the heavenly bodies. But what these great minds, in general, fail to come up with is the answer to why it works or even why it is here at all. Again Albert Einstein said: “I want to know God’s thoughts; the rest are details.” However, he too kept looking to find God’s thoughts never to be satisfied.
The answer to his problem, as with most of the great thinkers in this world is that they need to quit trying to find ways to gain wisdom, and allow Him to enter their hearts. For Wisdom isn’t a thing; it is a person. He isn’t hard to find either; we need look no further than the little babe in Bethlehem. Those great thinkers and scientists and yes even us need to quit thinking of knowledge, the attainment of information, as wisdom and welcome Him with the joy and peace He brings.
- Knowledge explains the workings of creation; Wisdom holds creation together.
- Knowledge allows us to improve and grow; Wisdom gives us life.
- Knowledge is benign, Wisdom is all good.
- Knowledge helps us understand each other; Wisdom gives us love for each other.
In talking about gravitation Albert Einstein came very close in admitting the difference between knowledge and Wisdom: “Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love.”