Convertens Animas

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Saturday of the First Week of Lent

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Entrance Antiphon

The law of the Lord is unspotted, converting souls:
the testimony of the Lord is faithful, giving wisdom to little ones (Ps 18:8).

Today’s Entrance Antiphon, taken from Psalm 18, tells us two things about the Word of God. First, it converts souls. Convertens animas. This means that the Word of God turns back souls, places them in a face-to-face with God.

Second, the Word of God gives wisdom to little ones. Sapientiam praestans parvulis. For the proud, the sophisticated, and the grand of this world the Word of God is a closed book; it is all foolishness. For the little, the humble, and the poor in spirit, the Word of God is a ceaseless communication of wisdom. Recall the words of Jesus: “I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will” (Mt 11:25-26).

All of this is, of course, contingent on one thing: our persevering, faithful, self-exposure to the Word of God, first of all in the Mass and Divine Office, and then in lectio divina. If you really want the conversion of your own soul, expose yourself relentlessly to the Word of God. If you would learn the “secret and hidden wisdom of God” (1 Cor 2:7), immerse yourself in the Word of God with humility.

The liturgy of Lent insists on the primacy of the Word. Lectio divina is the foundational Lenten observance; everything else flows from it. It is the beginning of true penitence, the taste of divine wisdom to the palate of the soul.

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About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

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