Sunday, March 10, 2013

#69 / Doxology

Wikipedia defines "Doxology" as follows: 

Among Christian traditions a doxology is typically an expression of praise sung to the Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. It is common in high hymns for the final stanza to take the form of a doxology. Doxologies occur in the Eucharistic prayers, the Liturgy of the Hours, hymns and various Catholic devotions such as novenas and the Rosary.
The "Common Doxology" is a song that I remember from my Episcopalian childhood. It begins: "Praise God..."

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise him, all creatures here below;
Praise him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
The following Doxology, however, which I also remember from my youth, is the one I want to comment on today: 

Glory be to the Father
And to the Son
And to the Holy Spirit;
As it was in the beginning
Is now and ever shall be,
World without end.
I think this prayer might be seen as articulating a deep, and enduring, human hope, one generally shared, whether a person is individually religious, or not. I cannot, of course, speak for others. Speaking for myself, though, at some profound level, I know that I long for a world that could be "as it was in the beginning...." Our human actions have severed us from the World of Nature, a World that God created (or, for those not liking the idea of God, a World that we most emphatically did not create ourselves). 

Perhaps it is to overcome our sadness in this separation from the World of Nature that we state a hope that this World truly "is now and ever shall be." To gain access to such a World, I know, we must submit to its laws. 

And this is a hard wisdom, for truly to build our world within the World of Nature, and to conform our world to the laws of the World of Nature, we must be willing to recognize that in the World of Nature, the law of life is death.

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