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O Emmanuel, leader and desire
of all the nations, you set
captives free, comfort the
lonely; you feed the poor and
the hungry. Come be born in us,
God of Life.
The "O Antiphons," one of the oldest liturgical rituals in the church, are
prayed around the world during the final days of Advent. For the seven
days before Christmas, we recall in these prayers a quality of Christ that
must be realized before the presence of Christ can consume the world.
December 17
Wisdom: the ability to see the
world as God sees it. Try reading
the newspaper today through the
eyes of a God who was born in a
stable, counted to be of no
account, hounded by society from
one place to another.
— Joan D. Chittister, OSB
O Wisdom, flowing from the mouth
of the Most High; reaching far and
wide, disposing of all things sweetly
and mightily. Come teach us the way
of prudence.
December 18
When we build a vision of life it is
necessary to realize that Jesus
must be the center of it—not our
institutions, good as they may be;
not our plans or personal talents,
necessary as they are.
— Joan D. Chittister, OSB
O Adonai, leader of the ancient
Israel, giving Moses, while in the
burning bush, the law on Sinai.  
Come with outstretched arms and
teach us.
December 19
It takes generations to build the
Christ vision in the world, just as
it took generations after Jesse to
prepare for the coming of the
Christ. It is our task to root ideas
now that will bring the next
generation to wholeness.
— Joan D. Chittister, OSB
O Root of Jesse, standing as
protector of the people; silencing
rulers, inspiring the people to make
supplication. Come do not delay,
deliver us.
December 20
We are called to the kind of
Christian commitment that opens
doors and breaks down barriers
between people, that brings unity
to a divided world. Try to unlock
one door that is keeping someone
locked out of your heart.
— Joan D. Chittister, OSB
O Key of David, rod and staff of the
house of Israel, one who opens and
no one closes, the one who closes
and no one opens.  Come lead
prisoners caught in darkness.
O Dayspring, Sun of Justice, bright
eternal light, one who shows the
way, the one who sets us free even
in darkness and death. Come,
disperse the gloomy clouds of night.
December 21
The celebration of the God of
Growth in our lives—those moments
of insight in which life comes newly
alive in me—helps us to recognize
those moments of insight in which
life comes newly alive and I begin to
see differently, to live differently, to
function differently. A new friend, a
new work, a new idea are all "radiant
dawns" in life that can enable me to
become more than I ever dreamed I
— Joan D. Chittister, OSB
O Ruler of Nations, cornerstone of
the people, desire of all; from the
clay of the earth, by your own hand
you have formed us and fashioned
us. Come and open our hearts to one
December 22
We are not the beginning and the
end of the universe.  We are part
of a vision of humankind, seen in
Jesus, and yet to be achieved in
us, a vision of global sharing,
universal peace and individual
— Joan D. Chittister, OSB
December 23
Jesus Emmanuel has already come.  
It is not a matter now of Christ’s
being where we are; it is a matter of
our being in the consciousness of
where Christ is in life and where He
is not as well. Where is Christ for
you? Is there a place in your life that
you know down deep is not in the
spirit of Christ at all?
— Joan D. Chittister, OSB