Notebook

Awake the Dawn

If we are privileged to pray the Divine Office according to the order prescribed by St Benedict, Vigils of Saturday present a tremendous panorama. The set Psalms take us on a tour from the creation of the world through the history of Israel to a glimpse of the world to come: ‘I shall awake the dawn’.

It is good to be reminded that history moves towards a goal.

As Sr Elisabeth Paule Labat once wrote: to the extent that man grows in wisdom he ‘will perceive the history of this world in whose battle he is still engaged as an immense symphony resolving one dissonance by another until the intonation of the perfect major chord of the final cadence at the end of time.’ Advent invites this year, as every year, to attune our hearing, to establish ourselves in inward silence. Thus we may perceive the perplexing modulations formed about us now as stages in an ongoing melodic development whose climax will be glorious.