Oh Lord, purify me, make me a chalice in which you dwell, offer your sacrifice in me and spread your love through me. Let me shine like gold, adorn me with the jewels of virtue that I may always be open to you. Fill me. Overflow me. Let me be like that most perfect vessel, the Singular Vessel of Devotion, She to whom I cry for protection against the Evil One. I ask this for your glory, for the vessel is nothing without the sustenance inside, the cup nothing unless it is filled. Oh Lord, purify me.

Give me a word, Abba

Thursday, March 22, 2012


One of my favorite hymns of all time is one of the suggested hymns for Night Prayer. It is called "O Radiant Light, O Son Divine" sung to the tune "Jesu Dulcis Memoria." Here is the first verse:

O Radiant Light, O Son Divine
Of God the Father's deathless Face
O Image of the Light sublime
That fills the heavenly dwelling place.

And in my own invented language:

O Nugalu, O Vayalu
Erenvi Leri Nivani
Zavayaly elis alisenu
Ularyae renlae selia

The words are taken from an early Greek manuscript and thus are awesome beyond all belief. Actually, they remind me a lot of the theological symbolism that pervades the Gospel of John. Jesus says that He is the Light of the World. Symbolically, this is very important because the first thing that was created was Light. It is, in fact, our source of life. Without it, we die. Apparently, God's Face itself is light, and the light of His Face is the Son....the Light of the World. In the Second Eucharistic Prayer, this same concept is brought up. Speaking of those who have died: "Welcome them into the light of your face."

The next line, about the Image of the Light Sublime filling the heavenly dwelling place makes me think of huge room that is a diamond and in its center is the Light of God. The light is radiant, filling every corner of the room, and the crystal reflects the light back and lets the light through to fill the whole world. The Diamond is a self sufficient light-filled glorious room which reflects itself upon itself, and would probably be hard to look at without sunglasses (hence the old understanding that looking at the face of God would kill you. It probably would.)

I'd have to get out my notes from my Aquinas class, but I think we talked a little bit about this imagery. It was amazing.

And I think St. Teresa of Avila uses the same imagery in the Interior Castle.

(184 is the hymn number in the Christian Prayer book)

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