A reflection on the O Antiphon for December 17, by Mother Maria-Michael Newe, OSB.
Today we have the first of the great ‘O Antiphons’. The O Antiphons are what prepare us for the King, as everyday they give you something of His attributes. What expectations were laid on Jesus! We see what was expected of Him, the Messiah, in the O Antiphons. In today’s O Antiphon it says, “O Wisdom, who didst come from the mouth of the most High, reaching from end to end, and disposing all things sweetly and mightily, come and teach us the way of prudence.”
We pray during Saturday Lauds from the book of Wisdom, “Give me the wisdom that sits by thy throne and do not reject me from among thy servants, for I am thy slave and the son of thy maidservant… for even if one is perfect among the sons of men, yet without the wisdom that comes from thee, he will be regarded as nothing… send her forth from your holy heavens and from the throne of your glory send her that she may be with me and toil…”(Wisdom 9:1ff) I like how it says, “and toil”. Why? Wisdom isn’t achieved by just sitting back and saying, “Give me wisdom”. No, we work at wisdom. We work at knowing what God wants from us.
St Benedict tells us to keep our eyes on eternity. That precept helps us gain wisdom for we realize that our decisions have eternal consequences. We can’t fool ourselves and say they don’t. It’s prudence to know why we do the things we do. And all we do must be done with love. If anything we do is without love, it is worth nothing. Every decision we make, somehow, if it is of God, is inspired with love. So as St. Benedict tells us, let us “run and do now what will profit us forever.”