A Perfect Heart

Friday of the Third Week in Advent
December 16, 2022

Today’s Readings:

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/121622.cfm

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we stand at the edge of the final deep dive into Christmas.

Tomorrow, we will begin the magnificent O Antiphons with their rich and repeated invitation for God, not only to enter, but to take up residence our lives. We hear the hint of those invitations in today’s Responsorial Psalm:

Alleluia, alleluia.
Come, Lord, bring us your peace
that we may rejoice before you
with a perfect heart.


It’s a perfect prayer for these last few days before Christmas, because so many of us get caught up in a contradictory kind of frenzy of shopping, gifts, parties, decorating, cooking, wrapping, buying…. and on, and on, and on.

The hyperactivity doesn’t leave a lot of space for peace and the perfection of our hearts to welcome the Savior.


This lovely poem by Geoffrey Brown has always helped focus me on the peace-making of my heart so that I could welcome Grace as it comes to me.


The Heart Cave

I must remember
To go down to the heart cave
& sweep it clean; make it warm
with a fire on the hearth,
& candles in their niches,
the pictures on the walls
       glowing with a quiet light.
       I must remember
To go down to the heart cave
       & make the bed
with the quilt from home,
strew
the rushes on the floor
hang
lavender and sage
         from the corners.
         I must go down
        To the heart cave & be there
         when You come.

Isaiah, with a powerful “how-to”, reminds us that we are all called to this spiritual readying:

Thus says the LORD:
Observe what is right, do what is just,
for my salvation is about to come,
my justice, about to be revealed.
Happy is the one who does this,
whoever holds fast to it:
Keeping the sabbath without profaning it,
keeping one’s hand from doing any evil


As a last reminder before our journey through the O Antiphons, Isaiah coaches us in inclusivity – assuring us that all people are welcome in the arms of the One Who is to come:

Let not the foreigners say,
when they would join themselves to the LORD,
“The LORD will surely exclude me from the people.”
The foreigners who join themselves to the LORD,
ministering to and
Loving the name of the LORD,
and becoming God’s servants–
All who keep the sabbath free from profanation
and hold to my covenant,
Them I will bring to my holy mountain
and make joyful in my house of prayer …


Music: Rorate Caeli – sung by Harpa Dei

“Rorate caeli” (Drop down, ye heavens) are the opening words of Isaiah 45:8. The text is frequently sung to plainsong at Mass and in the Divine Office during Advent where it gives expression to the longings of Patriarchs and Prophets, and symbolically of the Church, for the coming of the Messiah.

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