December 17 is called Sapientia, for on this day the first of the Great O Antiphons, “Sapientia” is sung in liturgy. We are familiar with the antiphons but in a lesser way as they make up the verses of the Advent carol, “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.”

Sapientia means “wisdom.” In the antiphon, Wisdom is addressed personally as is often the case in the book of Proverbs. A translation of the antiphon reads, “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.”

This sonnet is a mediation on Sapientia and is titled Wisdom III.

In the silence, before words, songs, or speech,
The Spirit breathes over the water’s night;
The Most High speaks; Wisdom readies to teach,
Drive away darkness, sing: “Let there be light!”

O’er Sinai, I AM in glory thunders;
Wisdom speaks again, makes her precepts known,
Reveals the way, writing worded wonders,
Her purpose and promise on tablets of stone.

David’s Branch shall come, rule with right wisdom;
Prince of Peace, Immanuel, God of Might,
O’erturn the proud, exalt in His Kingdom
The meek and low whom he mends, heals, makes right.

Tonight, Wisdom waits, poised in the world’s wild–
Inhales to speak through the cries of a child.

© Randall Edwards 2018. This poem is for Christ’s church. If it is helpful, please feel free to copy or reprint in church bulletins, read aloud, or repost. I only ask that an attribution be cited to myself (Randall Edwards) and this blog (backwardmutters.com). Thanks.

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