- O Sapientia, quae ex ore Altissimi prodiisti,
- attingens a fine usque ad finem,
- fortiter suaviterque disponens omnia:
- veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae.
- O Wisdom, coming forth from the mouth of the Most High,
- reaching from one end to the other mightily,
- and sweetly ordering all things:
- Come and teach us the way of prudence.
The marvellous vision of the peaceable Kingdom, in which all violence has been overcome and all men, women, and children live in loving unity with nature, calls for its realisation in our day-to-day lives. Instead of being an escapist dream, it challenges us to anticipate what it promises. Every time we forgive our neighbour, every time we make a child smile, every time we show compassion to a suffering person, every time we arrange a bouquet of flowers, offer care to tame or wild animals, prevent pollution, create beauty in our homes and gardens, and work for peace and justice among peoples and nations we are making the vision come true.
We must remind one another constantly of the vision. Whenever it comes alive in us we will find new energy to live it out, right where we are. Instead of making us escape real life, this beautiful vision gets us involved.
Henri Nouwen, from Bread for the Journey
Sitting here this snowy evening with the two cats, I keep thinking of this. I so long for that day described in Isaiah 11, and yet the only way there is through this present darkness, by the way of prayer, illuminated by the little lamp of God’s word, that sheds only enough light for the next step (Psalm 119:105) and yet is (v 89) eternal. After all, “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God…”
As Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.” (Matthew 5:6,7)