Monday, January 8, 2018

Waiting for dawn

The houseplants near my kitchen patio door, waiting for sunrise. 
Christmas is almost officially over, as Ordinary Time begins tomorrow.  I hope you had a nice Christmas; our family certainly did. It's always sad at the end of the holidays to see the adult and college-age children going back to their jobs and studies.  This January is more poignant than usual, since Daughter #5 is leaving home, and there are various other changes afoot, some of which I did not anticipate. As they say, "Change is the only Constant" (actually, "they" is the pre-Socratic Greek philosopher Heraclitus, which I just discovered this very moment. Isn't Google useful sometimes?)

Despite the various challenges of life, my spirits are lifted because: 1) God; 2) we are POST-SOLSTICE: more hours of daylight--yay! I have trouble getting up early in the morning at the best of times, but winter is even less fun. When one of our daughters was little, she called everything between midnight and sunrise "Dark Morning," and the label is apropos, literally as well as metaphorically. 

I've always been more of a night person, and last night, my teen daughters and I stayed up extra-late, because it was our last night of Christmas holidays. I know that's technically naughty, since it was a 'school night', but the beauty of homeschooling lies partly in being able to bend the schedule once in a while. Besides, I'm now down to just one full-time student (grade 8), and we've worked out a schedule whereby she does her independent work, plus whatever else she pleases, including hobbies, crafting, reading (or even sleeping in, if she needs to) during the morning hours. 

That leaves me time to write, blog, help my high school daughter with her online classes, keep up with my correspondence (in theory, anyway; I'm still way behind--as in, I still haven't responded to people who wrote to me after my mom died in November... of 2016. Sigh), do my housework, volunteer (Sacristan for morning Mass) and do other important "Me-time" stuff, like praying. 

My favourite method of formal daily prayer is the Liturgy of the Hours (also known as the Divine Office). I can and will write more on that sometime. I highly recommend this book for anyone not familiar with LOTH, and wanting to know more. (Yes, of course, it's cheaper in the U.S.--isn't everything?)

Below is the hymn for Morning Prayer today, and the fourth stanza reminded me of the photo above. It's fine and even necessary to be relaxed and contemplative, but for some reason, today I didn't feel like "waiting" for dawn (as my post title indicated), because it seemed too passive. There is far too much to do, and not all of it pleasant. Instead, as it says numerous times in the Psalms, "I will arise and greet the dawn" (some translations say I will "wake" the dawn. Naw, that's a bit too ambitious for me; greeting will have to suffice.)

Happy Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. 

Brightness of the Father's Glory

Brightness of the Father's glory
Springing from eternal light,
Source of light by light engendered.
Day enlightening every day.

In your ever-lasting radiance
Shine upon us, Christ, true sun,
Bringing life to mind and body
Through the Holy Spirit's pow'r.

Father of unfading glory.
Rich in grace and Strong to save.
Hear our prayers and come to save us,
Keep us far from sinful ways.

Dawn is drawing ever nearer,
Dawn that brings us all we seek,
Son who dwells within the Father,
Father uttering one Word.

Glory be to God the Father.
Glory to his Only Son,
Glory now and through all ages
To the Spirit Advocate.

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