26 February 2013

On the Beauty of the Antiphons

As I live, says the Lord, I do not wish the sinner to die but to turn back to me and live.
Antiphon for Mid-day Prayer of Lent

One of the neat things about the Liturgy of the Hours during the seasons of Lent, Advent, Christmas and Easter is that the antiphons for the minor hours are the same for the duration of the season.  Thus, the antiphon above is prayed each time one prays mid-day prayer.

There is the sense in this antiphon that the death of the sinner is not caused by the hand of God, but rather the sinner's own individual decision to turn away from Life to Death.  

A haunting thought if salvation is our own project; a much more comforting one if the project belongs to the Lord.

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