Sing, but keep going

November 29, 2008

Tomorrow is the first Sunday of Advent, which makes today the last day of the liturgical year.  It is a good day for reflection, self-examination, and thanksgiving, and also a day for looking forward: the great cycle is about to begin again.  The character of this day is expressed beautifully in this reading, taken from today’s Office of Readings.  It comes from a sermon by St. Augustine.

O the happiness of the heavenly alleluia, sung in security, in fear of no adversity! We shall have no enemies in heaven, we shall never lose a friend. God’s praises are sung both there and here, but here they are sung in anxiety, there in security; here they are sung by those destined to die, there, by those destined to live forever; here they are sung in hope, there, in hope’s fulfillment; here they are sung by wayfarers, there, by those living in their own country.

So, then, my brothers, let us sing now, not in order to enjoy a life of leisure, but in order to lighten our labors. You should sing as wayfarers do — sing, but continue your journey. Do not be lazy, but sing to make your journey more enjoyable. Sing, but keep going. What do I mean by keep going? Keep on making progress. This progress must be in virtue; for there are some, the Apostle warns, whose only progress is in vice. If you make progress, you will be continuing your journey, but be sure that your progress is in virtue, true faith, and right living. Sing then — but keep going.

3 Responses to “Sing, but keep going”

  1. Janet Says:

    Hurrah! When I read that this morning, I was wishing I had some place to post it. I love getting to the end of one of the volumes of the Liturgy of the Hours, and getting out the next volume, and moving my super-duper set of ribbons and my prayers cards to the new one, and putting the old one away. It’s this ceaseless rhythm that makes the Catholic Church so nourishing–well, it’s partly this.

    You may have notice somewhere or other that I am going offline for Advent and in preparation it seems to me that the Lord has been sending me all sorts of things to ponder during this time. The above reading is one. The “grace” quote is another. Thanks.


  2. cburrell Says:

    In that case, Janet, have a blessed Advent, and a very Merry Christmas, and I hope to hear from you again in the new year. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go swap volumes of the Liturgy of the Hours…

  3. d$ Says:

    What a great quote. There is a great emo/pop record from Sherwood, a band from San Luis Obispo, California, whose full-length album is called Sing, But Keep Going, taken from this quote. I recommend it.

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