There are so many reasons that being a Catholic is a joy and a blessing, the greatest of which center around Easter and Christmas -- the Christ-Mass. The greatest blessing is the consolation of being a member of the Christian family Jesus established prior to and directly after His resurrection, guided by the Holy Spirit; "the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth" (1 Timothy 2:15). But no less wonderful are the ancient, beautiful hymns, so many of which we sing during Advent as we wait for His coming by celebrating the first and hearkening toward the second.
One of my favorites is the haunting and wistful "Creator of the Stars of Night," a mere fourteen-hundred years old. It is so beautiful, it makes my throat tight just to hear the music. But the words! Oh, the words! They fill my soul brim-ful with love for Jesus. We sang it yesterday evening at Mass as we went forward to receive communion and in my mind, I could picture generation after generation of believers -- from Jerusalem on the night of the Last Supper, to Rome in the catacombs, spreading through all of Europe and carried to Asia and this new world by missionaries and explorers -- coming forward to receive Him, so lowly and humble under the veil of bread and wine, yet still the One Who created the stars at night.
Creator of the Stars of Night
Conditor alme siderum, 7th century
translated from Latin to English by John M. Neale, 1852
Listen to the music here from Cyberhymnal.com
Creator of the stars of night,
Thy people’s everlasting light,
Jesu, Redeemer, save us all,
And hear Thy servants when they call.
Thou, grieving that the ancient curse
Should doom to death a universe,
Hast found the medicine, full of grace,
To save and heal a ruined race.
Thou cam’st, the Bridegroom of the bride,
As drew the world to evening-tide;
Proceeding from a virgin shrine,
The spotless Victim all divine.
At Whose dread Name, majestic now,
All knees must bend, all hearts must bow;
And things celestial Thee shall own,
And things terrestrial, Lord alone.
O Thou Whose coming is with dread
To judge and doom the quick and dead,
Preserve us, while we dwell below,
From every insult of the foe.
To God the Father, God the Son,
And God the Spirit, Three in One,
Laud, honor, might, and glory be
From age to age eternally.
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