Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Siri and Advent

Every so often I am blessed to have my wife, Teresa, give me some of her writings for my blog.  Recently she has been expanding her use of Siri on her new IPhone and shared with me the following:

Recently I discovered the microphone feature on my IPhone and realized that Siri can schedule appointments, find addresses and help you send a text message. However, she does not recognize the word “Advent”!  I was dictating Siri an email to a friend and ending it with the greeting “Advent Blessings” but instead what I got back was many different versions of those words including “add vent,” “and in,” and “and then.”       The one that really made me pause was “and thin.” Advent is indeed one of the "thin" places of our spiritual lives. Places where we encounter God, perhaps in great sorrow or maybe in one those wild wonderful places in Ireland where there is no barrier between you and God. Places where the veil becomes transparent. Our own interior wild landscapes during Advent can be the memories of those that have left us, the growing darkness of winter, or of the quiet comfort of Advent music. In that moment when I realized that Siri did not understand the nuances of Advent waiting, I smiled, put on a quiet Christmas CD and asked Siri to set my timer for 20 minutes and quietly spent some time with God in the dark womb of Advent.
So as we near the end of Advent time join Teresa and me over the next seven days as we blog the O Antiphons! The origin of these short prayers are unknown but appear in writings dating back to the 5th century. By the 8th and 9th centuries they were being chanted by monks in Rome. All seven prayers follow a unique literary structure. All begin with an invocation of the expected Messiah followed by praise using a particular title. All end with a plea to "Come" followed by a petition tying back to that particular title. 

You may know these prayers as the root lyrics to O Come, O Come Emmanuel, a favorite carol this time of year.  So join us on a week long journey of short meditations that may just bring you a contemporary perspective to these ancient prayers…and some quiet space to spend time in the dark womb of Advent. 

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1 comment:

Fran said...

Teresa... so beautiful. Thank you!