Liturgical Time

One single harmonious order

The Word creates a divine harmony in creation

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things were made through him, and without him nothing was made.

In these words John the theologian teaches that nothing exists or remains in being except in and through the Word.

Think of a musician tuning a lyre. By skill high notes are adjusted to low and intermediate notes to the rest, producing a series of harmonies. So too the wisdom of God holds the world like a lyre and joins things in the air to those on earth, and things in heaven to those in the air, and brings each part into harmony with the whole. By his decree and will he regulates them all to produce the beauty and harmony of a single, well-ordered universe.

To illustrate this profound mystery, let us take the example of a choir of many singers. Under the direction of one conductor, each sings in their own natural way -- yet together all of them produce a single harmony. Or consider the example of our soul. It moves our senses according to their several functions so that in the presence of a single object they all act simultaneously: the eye sees, the ear hears, the hand touches, the nose smells, the tongue tastes.

Although these are poor in comparison, they give some idea of how the whole universe is governed. The Word of God has but to give a gesture of command and everything falls into place; each creature performs its own proper function, and all together constitute one single harmonious order.

Let nothing be preferred to the Work of God – Rule of Benedict 43:3

Excerpts from a discourse written by Saint Athanasius, bishop (296 - 373 AD), part of the Office of Readings for Friday of the First Week in Ordinary Time
John 1:1,3