O Wisdom, you came forth from the mouth of the Most High, and reach from one end of the earth to the other, rightly and sweetly ordering all things: Come and teach us the way of prudence.
The final week of Advent has begun. The Great O Antiphons commence with calling upon God as Wisdom and begging the gift of prudence. What an extraordinary gift to seek in our imprudent age! Yet seek it we must. Prudence is the ability to make decisions about right actions and thoughts based on foresight, knowing where decisions and action are likely to lead. It means the full use of our reason.
Human reason is sadly incomplete without God. That is why we call upon the Lord as our Wisdom tonight. God, the author of wisdom, is the source of our full rationality. Ah, yes... for us reason and faith are not opposites: they are fulfilled in each other. Sadly, many Christians live as if they were mutually exclusive; but we in the Anglican and catholic faith are not forced to make such assumptions. This is a good night to rejoice in that truth.
Our life of prayer and the sharing in the Holy Eucharist constantly reinforce this mutuality of human reason restored by communion in God. That communion is made possible for all peoples through God's own sovereign action of coming into the world in Christ. It is to that fact we look forward--now intensified by the language and imagery of the O Antiphons before and after the Song of Mary at Evening Prayer this week.
To God be praise and glory for bridging the gap between...
... humanity and the Divine,
... heaven and earth,
... faith and reason.
O, Wisdom from on high...come and teach us prudence once more!