Simeon, an old man, receives the Child, the Light of the nations, in his arms and praises God. Today, one can't but be reminded of another old man, our Holy Father, who in receiving the Light, lifts Him up before the world and reminds us, "Be not afraid!"
In a special way today, we remember him in our prayers.
This morning before Mass, while our little corner of the world was still in the half light of dawn, we had our Candlemas procession. As we processed from the Chapter Hall and through the still dark halls toward our Choir we sang the traditional Adorna thalamum tuam antiphon for the procession. The chantresses sing the verses in English while the rest of the choir sings the refrains: "Ecce mundi gaudia!", "In te sunt solemnia.", " O Virgo Maria, Dei plena gratia!"
We use a late mediaeval Dutch tune, KINDER ZWIJGT, that has all the robust joy and life of these mediaeval tunes. We wish you could've heard it. Those here for Mass in our extern Chapel did.
Today is also the annual World Day of Consecrated Life which our Holy Father instituted in 1997. On this day, Religious and Lay People reflect on the gift of the Consecrated Life for the Church and the world. We are meant to other lights of Christ to a world of darkness. For a wonderful article on the Consecrated life go here.
Let us continue to pray that the Lord of the Harvest will bless the Church with an abundance of consecrated men and women both in the active life and the cloistered life! If you think that perhaps the Lord is calling your heart to become one with His, "COME AND SEE!" and join us in singing: "Ecce mundi gaudia, in te sunt solemnia!"