note from Daria: introducing Owen Swain, whom I've invited to do a few guest posts.
"Let all who hope in you, Lord, pass unnoticed and rejoice for ever."
These words* from the Office of Readings, Responsory for January 3, The Most Holy Name of Jesus -- the day I am sitting down to write this little introduction of myself to the good readers of this Daria's Coffee & Canticles blog -- are so beautifully just-the-opposite of pop culture wisdom
The very medium I am writing in and for, the Internet, has voices beyond counting that each cry out for attention; me over you; I'm here, I'm important too. Every social network update says, "Please, notice, me. Please, remember my name." Yet we are encouraged,
"Let all who hope in you, Lord, pass unnoticed and rejoice for ever. You will overshadow them.-- and those who love your name will glory in you."
There it is. When we are noticed by the Beloved of our soul, when we embrace that we are his beloved we welcome being overshadowed by him, our desires are realized in him, not in others, not in ourselves and can rejoice in being unnoticed by others.
As the Holy Spirit "overshadowed" the Blessed Mother at the Annunciation [Luke 2] when the Second Person of the holy Trinity was conceived in the Virgin's womb, without the aid of man, we should rejoice to be overwhelmed. "Every generation" calls the Mother of God blessed and yet I imagine she continues to ponder all things in her heart, taking every devout attention we render her and by it happily directing us to her Son, our Lord, Jesus. Mary gets a lot of attention from Catholics and rightly so, yet I imagine she is as happy today as she was 2000 years ago to go unnoticed.
While it no doubt seems and odd hope to want coming from someone invited to write for a blog, I do hope that I may pass unnoticed. No, really.
It's funny because during my past eight years on-line as clergy-convert I have most definitely coveted attention, some of that normal, some of it the stuff one takes to the sacrament of Reconciliation/Confession. Funny because just as I was ready to essentially let go of being much on-line, along came Daria inviting me to guest write. And that may just be a good fit.
In a recent post Daria noted things she has in common with Fr. Robert Barron. Reader Alan then commented that he also share some of the same commonalities. Me too.
We are all born in 1959. While those three were coming alive in their faith at age 19, I was, at age 19 making my first commitment to Jesus Christ; in the Protestant parlance of my time, "as Lord and Saviour of my life". Had I known anything about anything like the LoTH then I would have jumped in with both - um, hands. However, it was not until years later as an ordained Pentecostal pastor that I met an Anglican Priest who introduced me to their Book of Common prayer and something called a liturgical calendar. I know, but for all our focus on Bible and Holy Spirit and experience I had zero training in historic Christianity, except through a particular filter and that system did not include historic Christianity but where it served its own purpose and we knew of the Catholic Church only as that which needed "Reformation."
If that Anglican Priest thought me some kind of spiritual provincial (i.e. "backwater" "red-neck" "inadequately trained") he was kind enough to not mention it. My love for the LoTH came later, much later. I hope that love for The Hours and for Christ will come through whatever I write for this blog.
That is, I hope that whatever I write will be used of the Lord, not for the sake of itself or to give me props but to encourage the reader to pray the universal, official, liturgical prayer of Church that since Vatican II the laity has been blessed with and encouraged to engage. I hope anything I share will move that person, the beloved of Christ to know he and she is be loved by the Beloved, that the confidence of our own name will be known in being overwhelmed in the Most Holy Name of Jesus.
owenswain.com / artist
*You may be saying, "Wait, my copy of the four volume edition of the Liturgy of the Hours doesn't have those words or this feast day at all and my 2014 St. Joseph Guide book shows the feast as optional, notes that this is "(New)" and says, "No official texts yet exist in English." That's true and not true.
There may be no existing text in English for the yet to be published revised edition of the LoTH published in the United States by Catholic Book Publishing Corp, but since 2009 there is text in English for this feast day in the four volume set of the LoTH, Pauline Publications Africa (sometimes called the "Kenyan" edition on this blog and elsewhere on the Internet. And, oh happy day, I have a copy. I love (LOVE) it. Perhaps more on that in future posts as it is the primary edition of the LoTH that I will be referencing in my posts of C&C.