The O Antiphon: O Morning Star

20 December 2017 | Reflections From Abbess Mary

Ding, dong, ding...the fifth Advent bell proclaims...

O Morning Star, 
Radiance of eternal light, 
Sun of Justice: 
Come and enlighten those who dwell in darkness and in the shadow of death.

The Antiphon O Morning Star or O Radiant Sun is thoroughly familiar to us as Australians! While we delight in the length of days and play of light and colour all around us, how much more must it mean to our First Peoples, our Indigenous sisters and brothers who have lived under this Radiant Sun, this Morning Star for at least 40,000 and possibly 60,000 years. They embraced this place with its fierce heat, its bright light, its harsh burning.

O Morning Star
O Rising Sun, bring light to those who dwell in darkness and walk in the shadow of death

Tonight, our O Antiphon calls us to honour them, to respect the ancient culture which so enriches and blesses this land and all of us who are new-comers, and to pray for and with them. We know that too many Indigenous Australians are familiar with those words "you who dwell in darkness and in the shadow of death". 

I read this short passage from the writings of Rowan Williams this afternoon:
God calls us to abandon policy and protectiveness, 
to attend to and respond to his Word sounding in all human hurt, 
to be wounded and find out our helplessness – 
and there to meet the absolute gratuity and unexpectedness of his measureless compassion. 
But he will not wipe the tears from our eyes until we have learned to weep.

As we sing this O Antiphon tonight, let us weep with our indigenous brothers and sisters and call on our Morning Star, our Radiant Sun, which is so integral to the Dreaming, to come, to enlighten, to heal, to strengthen, to uphold.

We pray too for enlightenment for our leaders and all Australians that we may walk the way of reconciliation, recognition and deep dialogue.

O Morning Star, 
Radiance of eternal light, 
Sun of Justice: 
Come and enlighten those who dwell in darkness 
and in the shadow of death.

~  Everything that lives and that breathes gives praise to the Lord  ~

Jamberoo Abbey

Jamberoo Abbey, Benedictine Nuns
695 Jamberoo Mountain Road,
Jamberoo NSW 2533 Australia

Phone/Fax: 02 42360628
Email: benedictineabbey@bigpond.com