A STAR IN THE EAST
When I wake up during the night, my view is out a big picture window toward the east. This time of year, at the right time of night, Venus shines brightly as it climbs the December sky. It is spectacular in radiance on a clear night, and one can imagine the Wise Men following such a luminary on their way to the Christ Child.
Waking up at different times, I had seen Venus at different heights but had never bothered to notice what those times were. Then it dawned on me that I could see Venus rise if I got up at the right time, and since I had never seen a planet rise, I thought that would be a great thing to do.
On December 7th, the weather forecast was for a clear night and morning. I thought, “Perfect! I can watch the Morning Star rise on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.” So the plan was to rise with the Morning Star, but I still didn’t know what time it would rise. I hoped.
I woke up at 3 a.m. (DST) and saw that Venus was not in the sky yet. So I got up and lit the Advent wreathe that sister Kath had given us and began to say some prayers. I finished with the Litany of Loretto and then went to the picture window to start the vigil for the rising of the Morning Star.
I was hoping this vigil would not be an hour or more, when I noticed a red glow on the horizon that hadn’t been there before. Venus? I watched and it began to rise. The Morning Star!
There was nothing in itself sensational about the rising, but it was wonderful to see Our Lady’s Star rising on the Immaculate Conception – rising in its clear splendor and radiant beauty.
I prayed some Hail Mary’s as she rose into her full glory. I went back to bed very happy.
Found an old letter I’d written home during the 4th week of Advent. News items included that the “We are Catholic” group of students, teachers and parents were leaving for Rome soon; that Brendan Flannery had the top of his finger cut off in a door, and I had to run the found top to the hospital to see if it could be reattached; the SSC held Advent Vespers in the gym. Here’s what it said about the Vespers.
The prayer service began with all the lights off in the gym, and each student was given a lighted candle as he entered so the gym was aglow with the candle light: beautiful. But the priest couldn’t see to read so some lights had to be turned on: less beautiful. The SSC wanted to have something fun after the Vespers so they decided to have dodge ball. The announcement for the night sounded a little odd: Advent Vespers, light refreshments and dodge ball. [I remember Mr. McCullough being very good at dodge ball.]
Sorry I am late with this. A little computer trouble – really, a little computer operator trouble, but hopefully all is right now.
Jezu, ufam Tobie.