Help is on the way

Gaudete! … Gaudete in Domino semper! … Iterum dico, gaudete! …

As a once-Anglican; nay before that, as an unreligioned boy who became utterly entranced by the Bell Anthem of Henry Purcell, I cannot look upon the Latin words in this morning’s Introit without the sung translation pealing forth, in my mind’s ear:

Rejoice in the Lord alway, / and again I say, Rejoice! / Rejoice in the Lord alway! / And again, again, again I say, Rejoice! / The Lord is at hand, the Lord is at hand!

Be careful for nothing, / but in everything / by pray’r and supplication of thanksgiving / let your requests be made known unto God;

And the peace of God which passeth all, all, all understanding / shall keep your hearts and minds / through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Rejoice in the Lord alway! …

All Catholics should know the drill. In the middle of Advent, a season of fasting and sobriety, of abnegation and renunciation, of penitence and preparation — for the Christ-Mass, the Nativity of our Lord — there is this sudden and seemingly unseasonal upswelling, of the Gloria. And the reason is, that we are half way to Bethlehem.

There is nothing more than that to say; but there is so much more to sing. It does not matter that the world is dark around us, and that it can expect only darkness, because it is without Hope. We, for our part, know what is coming; and our Hope is not for what might be, by some obscure intellectual postulation, but for what is, and has been always, and will always be.

And we can know that we are not abandoned: that in the pitch of darkness, cometh He.