Thursday, July 17, 2008

A Scriptural Rosary with Varied Scriptural References

This is a new Scriptural Rosary I've composed which, instead of focusing extensively on the events on which each mystery is based, pulls from many varied, allusive Scriptural references to each mystery.

Joyful Mysteries

Luminous Mysteries

Sorrowful Mysteries

Glorious Mysteries

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Novena of Gospel Meditations on St. John the Baptist

The Nativity of St. John the Baptist is a Solemnity (the most solemn class of feast day) and is celebrated on June 24 - six months before Christmas ("In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God..." Lk 1:26). It is traditional to begin praying a novena in honor of a saint so that the it ends the day before his or her feast day, or by beginning the novena on the feast day itself. In light of St. John the Baptist's upcoming feast day, here is a list of nine gospel passages which may be daily prayerfully read, or meditated upon, in his honor. They follow the life and ministry, from beginning to end, of this great saint, of whom our Lord said "among those born of women, none is greater than John" (Luke 7:28). At the core of his message is how to receive Christ in a spirit of repentance and poverty of spirit, that we may be forgiven and become children of God through "the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world" (Jn. 1:29, cf. 36). I'm sorry that this is posted too late for a novena which would end on the day before his feast day.

First Day - Luke 1:5-25

Second Day - Luke 1:39-56

Third Day - Luke 3:1-18Fourth Day - Matthew 3:13-17

Fifth Day - John 1:19-34

Sixth Day - John 3:22-30

Seventh Day - Luke 7:18-35

Eighth Day - Mark 6:14-29

Ninth Day - Luke 1:57-80

The voice cries: "In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God." (Isaiah 40:3)

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Glorious Mysteries - Varied References

The Resurrection

Our Father

1- "My flesh will dwell in hope. For thou wilt not abandon my soul to Hades, nor let thy holy one see corruption." (Acts 2:26-27) Hail Mary

2- When he makes himself an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, he shall prolong his days. (Is 53:10) Hail Mary

3- On the third day he will rise us up, that we may live before him. (Hos 6:2) Hail Mary

4- They put him to death on a tree; but God raised him on the third day and made him manifest. (Acts 10:39-40) Hail Mary

5- Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. (Jn 20:11) Hail Mary

6- Jesus said to her, "Mary." She turned and said to him in Hebrew, "Rabboni!" (which means Teacher). (Jn 20:16) Hail Mary

7- Jesus our Lord...was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification. (Rom 4:24-25) Hail Mary

8- God, who is rich in mercy...made us alive together with Christ...and raised us up with him. (Eph 2:4-6) Hail Mary

9- You were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God. (Col 2:12) Hail Mary

10- If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. (1 Cor 15:14) Hail Mary

Glory be

The Ascension

Our Father

1- Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. (Mt 28:16) Hail Mary

2- And lifting up his hands, he blessed them. While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. (Lk 24:50-51) Hail Mary

3- As they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. (Acts 1:9) Hail Mary

4- He who descended is he who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things. (Eph 4:10) Hail Mary

5- The Lord Jesus...was taken up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. (Mk 16:19) Hail Mary

6- When Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sin, he sat down at the right hand of God, then to wait until his enemies should be made a stool for his feet. (Heb 10:13) Hail Mary

7- God...raised us up with him, and made us sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. (Eph 2:6) Hail Mary

8- Seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. (Col 3:1) Hail Mary

9- Christ has entered...into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. (Heb 9:24) Hail Mary

10- He is able for all time to save those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. (Heb 7:25) Hail Mary

Glory be

The Descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost

Our Father

1- When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. (Acts 2:1) Hail Mary

2- And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the sound of a mighty wind and it filled all the house where they were sitting. (Acts 2:2) Hail Mary

3- The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes; so it is with every one who is born of the Spirit. (Jn 3:8) Hail Mary

4- And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. (Acts 2:3) Hail Mary

5- And they were filled with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:4) Hail Mary

6- God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Rom 5:5) Hail Mary

7- A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. (Ez 36:26) Hail Mary

8- When you send forth your Spirit, they are created; and you renew the face of the earth. (Ps 104:30) Hail Mary

9- To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. (Rom 8:6) Hail Mary

10- It is God who establishes us with you in Christ...he has put his seal upon us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. (2 Cor 1:21,22) Hail Mary

Glory be

The Assumption

Our Father

1- She is a reflection of eternal light, a spotless mirror of the working of God, and an image of his goodness. (Wis 7:26) Hail Mary

2- “When I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” (Jn 14:3) Hail Mary

3- Arise, O Lord, and go to thy resting place, thou and the ark of thy might. (Ps 132:8) Hail Mary

4- My beloved speaks and says to me, “Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away; for lo, the winter is past, and the rain is over and gone.” (Song 2:10) Hail Mary

5- The woman was given two wings of the great eagle that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to a place where she is to be nourished. (Rev 12:14) Hail Mary

6- Draw me after you. Let us make haste. The king has brought me into his chambers. (Song 1:4) Hail Mary

7- Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem…The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst. (Zeph 3:14, 15) Hail Mary

8- “O daughter, you are blessed by the Most High above all women on earth.” (Jud 13:18) Hail Mary

9- “Behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.” (Lk 1:48) Hail Mary

10- “For he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.” (Lk 1:49) Hail Mary

Glory be

The Coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth

Our Father

1- The Lord takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with victory. (Ps 149:4) Hail Mary

2- He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness. (Is 61:10) Hail Mary

3- Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award me. (2 Tim 4:8) Hail Mary

4- Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Lo, your king comes to you. (Zech 9:9) Hail Mary

5- A great portent appeared in the heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet. (Rev 12:1) Hail Mary

6- And on her head a crown of twelve stars (Rev 12:1) Hail Mary

7- The king rose to meet her, and bowed down to her; then he sat on his throne, and had a seat brought for the king's mother; and she sat on his right. (1 Kg 2:19) Hail Mary

8- You are the exaltation of Jerusalem, you are the great glory of Israel, you are the greatest pride of our nation! (Jud 15:9) Hail Mary

9- Who is this that looks forth like the dawn, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army with banners? (Song 6:10) Hail Mary

10- I am the mother of beautiful love, of fear, of knowledge, and of holy hope. (Sir 24:18) Hail Mary

Glory be

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Luminous Mysteries - Varied References

The Baptism of the Lord

Our Father

1- Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. (Mt 3:13) Hail Mary

2- "I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how I am constrained until it is accomplished." (Lk 12:50) Hail Mary

3- John would have prevented him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" (Mt 3:14) Hail Mary

4- But Jesus answered him, "Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he consented. (Mt 3:15) Hail Mary

5- So they took up Jonah and threw him into the sea; and the sea ceased from raging. (Jon 1:15) Hail Mary

6- "As Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so will the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." (Mt 12:40) Hail Mary

7- We were buried therefore with him in baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. (Rom 6:4) Hail Mary

8- And when Jesus was baptized, he went up immediately from the water. (Mt 3:15) Hail Mary

9- The heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form, as a dove. (Lk 3:21-22) Hail Mary

10- And a voice came from heaven, "Thou art my beloved Son; with thee I am well pleased". (Mk 1:11) Hail Mary

Glory be

Christ's Self-Manifestation at the Wedding of Cana

Our Father

1- There was a marriage at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; Jesus also was invited to the marriage, with his disciples. (Jn 2:1-2) Hail Mary

2- When the wine failed, the mother of Jesus said to him, "They have no wine." (Jn 2:3) Hail Mary

3- Now six stone jars were standing there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, "Fill the jars with water." (Jn 2:6-7) Hail Mary

4- When the steward of the feast tasted the water now become wine... [he] called the bridegroom and said to him, "Every man serves the good wine first...but you have kept the good wine until now." (Jn 2:9, 10) Hail Mary

5- Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. (Mk 2:19) Hail Mary

6- And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. (Rev 21:2) Hail Mary

7- And he who sat upon the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." (Rev 21:5) Hail Mary

8- Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come. (2 Cor 5:17) Hail Mary

9- This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory; and his disciples believed in him. (Jn 2:11) Hail Mary

10- I found him whom my soul loves. I held him, and would not let him go. (Song 3:4) Hail Mary

Glory be

The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God

Our Father

1- Moses summoned all Israel and said to them..."The Lord said to me...'I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brethren.'" (Deut 5:1, 18: 17, 18) Hail Mary

2- "'I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him.'" (Deut 18:18) Hail Mary

3- "The Father who sent me has himself given me commandment what to say and what to speak. And I know his commandment is eternal life." (Jn 12:49-50) Hail Mary

4- "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good tidings to the afflicted." (Is 61:1) Hail Mary

5- Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand." (Mk 1:14-15) Hail Mary

6- "Repent, and believe in the gospel." (Mk 1:15) Hail Mary

7- God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. (Acts 5:31) Hail Mary

8- He has delivered us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Col 1:13-14) Hail Mary

9- Therefore put away all filthiness and rank growth of wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. (Jas 1:21) Hail Mary

10- "As for those in good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bring forth fruit with patience." (Lk 8:15) Hail Mary

Glory be

The Transfiguration

Our Father

1- Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves. (Mk 9:2) Hail Mary

2- And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his garments became white as light. (Mt 17:1-2) Hail Mary

3- His raiment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool. (Dan 7:9) Hail Mary

4- His brightness was like the light, rays flashed from his hand; and there he veiled his power. (Hab 3:4) Hail Mary

5- His face [was] like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like flaming torches. (Dan 10:6) Hail Mary

6- "The Lord bless you and keep you: The Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you." (Num 6:24-25) Hail Mary

7- "The Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace." (Num 6:26) Hail Mary

8- We have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father. (Jn 1:14) Hail Mary

9- A bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him." (Mt 17:5) Hail Mary

10- We heard this voice from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. (2 Pet 1:17) Hail Mary

Glory be

The Institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper

Our Father

1- "The whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs in the evening...They shall eat the flesh that night." (Ex 12:6, 8) Hail Mary

2- Christ, our paschal lamb, has been sacrificed. (1 Cor 5:7) Hail Mary

3- "Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you." (Jn 6:53) Hail Mary

4- As they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to his disciples and said, "Take, eat; this is my body." (Mt 26:26) Hail Mary

5- And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, "Drink of it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins." (Mt 26:27-28) Hail Mary

6- "Do this in remembrance of me." (Lk 22:19) Hail Mary

7- Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was priest of God Most High. (Gen 14:18) Hail Mary

8- The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, "You are a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek." (Ps 110:4) Hail Mary

9- From the rising of the sun to its setting my name is great among the nations, and in every place incense is offered to my name, and a pure offering. (Mal 1:11) Hail Mary

10- For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes. (1 Cor 11:26) Hail Mary

Glory be

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Sorrowful Mysteries - Varied References

The Agony in the Garden

Our Father

1- Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane…and taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. (Mt 26:36, 37) Hail Mary

2- And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, “Father, if thou art willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” (Lk 22:41-42) Hail Mary

3- "Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?" (Mk 10:38) Hail Mary

4- "Whoever does the will of God is my brother, sister, and mother." (Mk 3:35) Hail Mary

5- “Sacrifices and offerings thou hast not desired, but a body thou hast prepared for me…Then I said, ‘Lo, I have come to do thy will, O God.’” (Heb 10:5, 7) Hail Mary

6- Trouble and anguish have come upon me, but thy commandments are my delight. (Ps 119:143) Hail Mary

7- [Judas] came up to Jesus at once and said, “Hail, Master!” And he kissed him. Jesus said to him, “Friend, why are you here?” (Mt 26:49-50) Hail Mary

8- Even my bosom friend in whom I trusted, who ate of my bread, has lifted his heel against me. (Ps 41:9) Hail Mary

9- Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and seized him. (Mt 26:50) Hail Mary

10- Then all the disciples forsook him and fled. (Mt 27:56) Hail Mary

Glory be

The Scourging at the Pillar

Our Father

1- Then Pilate took Jesus and scourged him. (Jn 19:1) Hail Mary

2- I gave my back to the smiters. (Is 50:6) Hail Mary

3- The plowers plowed upon my back; they made long their furrows. (Ps 129:3) Hail Mary

4- We esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. (Is 53:4) Hail Mary

5- He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities. (Is 53:5) Hail Mary

6- Yet it was the will of the Lord to bruise him. (Is 53:10) Hail Mary

7- His appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance. (Is 52:14) Hail Mary

8- Upon him was the chastisement that made us whole. (Is 53:5) Hail Mary

9- And with his stripes we are healed. (Is 53:5) Hail Mary

10- Having scourged Jesus, Pilate delivered him over to be crucified. (Mk 15:15) Hail Mary

Glory be

The Crowning with Thorns

Our Father

1- The soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the praetorium, and they gathered the whole battalion before him. (Mt 27:27) Hail Mary

2- And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe upon him, and plaiting a crown of thorns they put it on his head, and put a reed in his hand. (Mt 27:28-29) Hail Mary

3- Wise men from the East came to Jerusalem saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and have come to worship him.” (Mt 2:2) Hail Mary

4- And kneeling before him they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” (Mt 27:29) Hail Mary

5- And they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. (Mt 2:11) Hail Mary

6- And they spat upon him, and took the reed and struck him on the head. (Mt 27:30) Hail Mary

7- Pilate entered the praetorium again and called Jesus, and said to him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” (Jn 18:33) Hail Mary

8- Jesus answered, “My kingship is not of this world.” (Jn 18:36) Hail Mary

9- And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe, and put his own clothes on him, and led him away to crucify him. (Mt 27:31) Hail Mary

10- Pilate also wrote a title and put it on the cross; it read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” (Jn 19:19) Hail Mary

Glory be

The Carrying of the Cross

Our Father

1- They took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross. (Jn 19:17) Hail Mary

2- Surely he has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows. (Is 53:4) Hail Mary

3- He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. (Is 53:12) Hail Mary

4- They seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus. (Lk 23:26) Hail Mary

5- “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Lk 9:23) Hail Mary

6- “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me.” (Mt 11:29) Hail Mary

7- “For I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Mt 11:29) Hail Mary

8- There followed him a great multitude of the people, and of women who bewailed and lamented him. (Lk 23:27) Hail Mary

9- But Jesus said turning to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.” (Lk 23:28) Hail Mary

10- And they brought him to the place called Golgotha (which means the place of a skull). (Mk 15:22) Hail Mary

Glory be

The Crucifixion and Death of the Lord

Our Father

1- Moses called all the elders of Israel, and said to them, “Select lambs for yourselves according to your families, and kill the passover lamb.” (Ex 12:21) Hail Mary

2- When they came to the place which is called the Skull, there they crucified him. (Lk 23:33) Hail Mary

3- They have pierced my hands and my feet - I can count all my bones. (Ps 22:16-17) Hail Mary

4- As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.” (Jn 3:14-15) Hail Mary

5- “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (Jn 1:29) Hail Mary

6- "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." (Jn 10:11) Hail Mary

7- He humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. (Phil 2:8) Hail Mary

8- Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone, but if it dies, it bears much fruit. (Jn 12:24) Hail Mary

9- One of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. (Jn 19:34) Hail Mary

10- In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace. (Eph 1:7). Hail Mary

Glory be

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Joyful Mysteries - Varied References

The Annunciation

Our Father

1- The angel Gabriel was sent from God, to a city of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. (Lk 1:26-27) Hail Mary

2- And he came to her and said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.” (Lk 1:28) Hail Mary

3- “You shall conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.” (Lk 1:31) Hail Mary

4- The Lord God said to the serpent, “…I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” (Gen 3:15) Hail Mary

5- [Judith] took hold of the hair of [Holfernes’] head, and said, “Give me strength this day, O Lord God of Israel!” And she struck his neck twice with all her might, and severed his head from his body. (Jud 13:7-8) Hail Mary

6- Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” (Lk 1:38) Hail Mary

7- “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.” (Lk 1:35) Hail Mary

8- The cloud covered the tent of the meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. (Ex 40:34) Hail Mary

9- Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion; for lo, I come and I will dwell in the midst of you, says the Lord. (Zech 2:10) Hail Mary

10- And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us. (Jn 1:14) Hail Mary

Glory be

The Visitation

Our Father

1- In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. (Lk 1:39-40) Hail Mary

2- David arose and went with all the people who were with him from Baalejudah, to bring up from there the ark of God. (2 Sam 6:2) Hail Mary

3- And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!” (Lk 1:41-42) Hail Mary

4- And Uzziah said to [Judith], “O daughter, you are blessed by the Most High God above all women on earth. And blessed be the Lord God…who has guided you to strike the head of the leader of our enemies.” (Jud 13:18) Hail Mary

5- “And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Lk 1:43) Hail Mary

6- David was afraid of the Lord that day; and he said, “How can the ark of the Lord come to me?” (2 Sam 6:9) Hail Mary

7- “For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy.” (Lk 1:44) Hail Mary

8- As the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw David leaping and dancing before the Lord. (2 Sam 6:16) Hail Mary

9- And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her home. (Lk 1:56) Hail Mary

10- And the ark of the Lord stayed in the house of Obededom the Gittite three months; and the Lord blessed Obededom and all his household. (2 Sam 6:11) Hail Mary

Glory be

The Birth of the Lord

Our Father

1- There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. (Is 11:1) Hail Mary

2- Joseph also went the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be enrolled with Mary his betrothed, who was with child. (Lk 2:4-5) Hail Mary

3- But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days. (Mic 5:2) Hail Mary

4- Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call him Immanuel. (Is 7:14) Hail Mary

5- And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered. And she gave birth to her first-born son. (Lk 2:6-7) Hail Mary

6- For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder.” (Is 9:6) Hail Mary

7- And his name shall be called "Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace". (Is 9:6) Hail Mary

8- The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them light has shined. (Is 9:2) Hail Mary

9- And [she] wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in the manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. (Lk 2:7) Hail Mary

10- For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich. (2 Cor 8:9) Hail Mary

Glory be

The Presentation

Our Father

1- Every first-born of man among your sons you shall redeem. (Ex 13:13) Hail Mary

2- When the time came according to their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord. (Lk 2:22) Hail Mary

3- She shall take two turtledoves or two young pigeons, one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering; and the priest shall make atonement for her, and she shall be clean. (Lev 12:8) Hail Mary

4- You are all fair, my love; there is no flaw within you. (Song 4:7) Hail Mary

5- [Simeon] took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word.” (Lk 2:29) Hail Mary

6- And the Lord said to [Moses], “This is the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, ‘I shall give it to your descendants.’ I have let you see it with your eyes.” (Deut 34:4) Hail Mary

7- "For mine eyes have seen thy salvation which thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples." (Lk 2:31) Hail Mary

8- "A light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to thy people Israel." (Lk 2:32) Hail Mary

9- No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known. (Jn 1:18) Hail Mary

10- And when they had performed everything according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, into their own city, Nazareth. (Lk 2:39) Hail Mary

Glory be

The Finding of Jesus in the Temple

Our Father

1- Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom. (Lk 2:41-42) Hail Mary

2- And when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. (Lk 2:43) Hail Mary

3- And when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking him. (Lk 2:45) Hail Mary

4- In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord; in the night my hand is stretched out wearying; my soul refuses to be comforted. (Ps 77:2) Hail Mary

5- After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. (Lk 2:46) Hail Mary

6- And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. (Lk 2:47) Hail Mary

7- The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. (Is 11:6) Hail Mary

8- I will make boys their princes, and babes shall rule over them. (Is 3:4) Hail Mary

9- And when they saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been looking for you anxiously.” (Lk 2:48) Hail Mary

10- And he said to them, “How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” (Lk 2:49) Hail Mary

Glory be

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Word and Wisdom

I was searching for some commentary on Wisdom as its presented as a feminine personification in the Wisdom literature of the Old Testament this evening, and I ran across this article by Irene Nowell, OSB. After reading it, I felt compelled to write her. I would like to share what I wrote her because commentary on this subject actually is actually quite sparse online.

Hi, Sr. Nowell,

I have been studying the passages on the feminine personification of wisdom - or "Woman Wisdom" - in the OT Wisdom literature and ran across your article. I thought it contained good scholarship, as when you elaborate on the Hebrew meaning of certain words to clarify the text. But have issue with the claim toward which you built in the article that the Word and Wisdom are one and the same.

I have also noted the similarities in literary device between the OT hymns about Wisdom. But I do not think such similarities point to the Word and Wisdom being the same being.

First of all, as John points out, the Word was God (1:1). Wisdom, wee see, is but a "reflection" of eternal light, a "mirror" of the working of God, and an "image" of his goodness (Wis 26:7). She did come forth from the mouth of God (Sir 24:3), but so did the spirit of life of people (Gen 2:7), and a distinction needs to be made as to whether or not this makes her the Word, who is God. Wisdom is not God, but an attribute of God: "A breath of the POWER of God, and A pure EMANATION of THE GLORY OF the Almighty" (Wis 7:25), as contrasted to THE Word. As an attribute of God, Wisdom is "eternal" (Sir 24:18), as every characteristic of God has existed in and with him eternally, but to say that she is God herself, as is the Word, betrays the vast majority of what is written of about her in the three OT passages in which she is personified. She is presented primarily as a virtue given by God (Wis 8:21) by which people are able to use right judgment and govern well (Ps 9:12) or to protect (Wis 10:1), rescue (Wis 10:6), and prosper (Wis 11:1) the works of God's people. That Wisdom primarily serves the particular function of the fostering of right judgment is highlighted by her contrast to "the reasoning of mortals" which "is worthless" and to "our designs" which "are likely to fail" (Wis 9:14). Wisdoms serves to help us use worthy reasoning and form successful designs. (To say that kings "king" by her and princes "prince" by her fits well into meaning that they are guided by Wisdom specifically in the function of judging rightly or governing.) The Word, on the other hand, encompasses much more than the function of a specific virtue, but in whom is "life" itself (Jn 1:4).

It is true that "he who finds" Wisdom "finds life and obtains favor from the Lord" (Prov 8:35) in a manner similar to how "life" (Jn 1:4) is in the Word "from whose fulness we have all received grace upon grace" (Jn 1:16). The life one finds with Wisdom, if we are to analyze its meaning within context in which it is mentioned, has to do with being "happy" as a result of keeping her ways, listening to her, "watching at" her "gates", and "waiting" beside her gates (Prov 8:32-34). This life as a happiness is given as a result of searching for her. The life as children of God given as a result of believing in the Word's name (Jn 1:12), is a life in which we become a totally new being, so much so that John notes we are born of God, in a new birth contrasted to being born of the flesh or by man's willing it (1:13). Given the elevated essence of this new birth, it not only entails the coming into being which the other kinds of birth (1:13) entail, but much more. The "life", "grace and truth" which come through the Word denote our becoming an entirely new creation in the life of God - BECOMING children of God (1:12). The happiness one gains by listening to Wisdom is indeed a benefit, but it refers to a condition of temporal life which results from internalizing the "prudence" in which she dwells and the "knowledge and discretion" she finds (Prov 8:12). The type of life one thereby gains, however, I do not think can be put on the same level as the life one finds in the Word.

The life effected by the Word brings about a whole new creation, affecting what we ARE. The life effected by Wisdom affects what we DO, THINK, or how we FEEL. What we are is more than what we do or think, or how we feel. This comparison is congruous to the fact that the Word is God, and Wisdom is an attribute of God, by which he inspires particular aspects of our life, but does not effect our very existence itself.

The different types of life given by Wisdom and the Word align also with the types of roles they have in creation. Though we may identify similarities in imagery between the passage from John and those referring to Wisdom, the essence of either role the Word or Wisdom plays is quite different. From the passage in John we first of all we see that the Word is God himself, and as such would play a role as Creator. As for his role as the one who was "with God" (1:1) and the "only Son from the Father" (1:14) we also see the intrinsic role as one "without [whom] was not anything made that was made" (1:3). The role of Wisdom in creation as it appears in Proverbs does not have this intrinsic quality to it, whereby she would be an absolute necessity in accomplishing the act of creation, as does that of the Word. She appears more as "an initiate into the knowledge of God, and an associate in his works" (Wis 8:4) as she is "beside him, like a master workman" (Prov 8:30), "rejoicing before him always, rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the sons of men" (Prov 8:30-31). Whereas Christ functions with an intrinsic role in the act of creation, Wisdom functions to enhance what's already created, figuratively affirming God that what he has made is very good (cf. Gn 1:31).

I think it would also be safe, sticking with the gospel of John, to also compare Wisdom to the Word's identity as Jesus Christ. John reveals the Word made flesh's identity as Christ within the very passage referring to the Word (Jn 1:17). One contrast between Christ and Wisdom which should highlight the unlikelihood of their being the same being is when Christ uses words which, like the passage in the beginning of John, bear close resemblance to the language and style of the passages referring to Wisdom, but in which Christ identifies himself in a way opposite to how Wisdom is identified.

I refer to the passage in which Wisdom says of herself, "Those who eat me will hunger for more, and those who drink me thirst for more" (Sir 24:21). I am sure you are familiar with "'Every one who drinks of this water will thirst again'" (Jn 4:13). The water of which Christ speaks most certainly seems to bear close identity with Wisdom. Yet Christ continues, "'But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give will never thirst'" (Jn 4:13) The contrast here between Wisdom and Christ may be taken further by considering that the hunger and thirst for Wisdom refers to that acquired by those who "eat" their "fill of" her "prudence" (Sir 24:19) and Christ's water refers to his Spirit (Jn 7:39). Again, this becomes a matter of comparing an attribute of God or, in this case, a virtue which comes from him, to God himself.

We may also note Christ's words which use similar style and structure, but by which a contrast between his and Wisdom's identities, based on the differing types of hunger and thirst they evoke in people, are drawn: "He who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst" (Jn 6:35).

Another such comparison using similar linguistic tone and style can also be made by noting Wisdom's words, "Come eat of my bread and drink the wine I have mixed. Leave simpleness and walk in the way of insight" (Prov 9:5). One may be tempted to use this verse to imply Eucharistic tones and further identify Wisdom's words with those of Christ's. Remaining with John and referring back to the words of Wisdom I used prior, such a comparison reveals a greater contrast: "This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died [as would those who "hunger for more"]; he who eats this bread will live forever" (Jn 6:58).

If we are to say the similarities between the language of the passages referring to Wisdom and those referring to the Word bear significance, these should all the more. For if Christ's words find some stylistic origin in Wisdom's, then it should be noted that the use of the same style implies an intent to directly juxtapose the two instances within one mold the single style provides. Such a juxtaposition would indicate a direct contrast between Christ and Wisdom - that Christ's words in effect take what was said of Wisdom and turns it on its head in respect to how he and she are identified.

Now, one may say there are differences between Wisdom (or, may I say, "Sophia") and the Word or Christ, but that in essence they may still be two sides of the same coin, two gender-specific manifestations of the same divine being. However, such a contrast between Christ or the Word and Wisdom, or between God and an attribute of God, point to essential distinctions in the very essence of being. There is an infinite difference between God and the habits or virtues we form in response to his grace, or between our total transformation into a new creation and our learning to use better judgment. Yet, taking the relevant passages from Scripture as a whole, such distinctions are revealed between the Word and Wisdom.

Thanks for reading this whole response if you did. I have been studying Wisdom for some time and have honestly attempted pairing her up to Christ as is done so often today and in effect have come to a conclusion essentially drawn out by this message.

May God bless you and I hope you have a Happy New Year,



Sr. Nowell sent me the following response:

Thank you, Richard. I appreciate your work on this topic. I think it is very important. I know there are varying opinions on the relationship between Wisdom and Christ and I am glad to have your research on it as well.