Rorate caeli, sesuper, et nubes pluant justum: aperiatur terra, et germinet Salvatorem.
Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the earth be opened and bud forth a Saviour.Dom Dominic Johner in his Chants of the Vatican Gradual provides this commentary, including the curious and evocative description of the post title:
What would this earth be without the Messias? A desert, an uncharted and arid waste scorched by the sun, having not one little flower or blade of grass. If new life is to spring forth, the ground must be cultivated, the clouds must send down their rain, the fructifying rain which is so valuable that the Portuguese say of the summer showers: "Gold pieces are now falling from heaven." Oh, that it might come, this rain, to penetrate into the hearts of men and awaken new life! Would that the clouds might have mercy! For the Israelites the concept of cloud was full of deep meaning: in the column of cloud God led His people through the desert; veiled by clouds He manifested Himself on Sinai; in a cloud the glory of the Most High descended upon the Temple which Solomon had built. Clouds are the symbol and the containers of life-giving rain, as well as of the grace of redemption which comes down to us from the heights of heaven, and of all the benefits and glories of the new kingdom of the Messias. When these clouds open, new life will bud forth (germinet) about Nazareth, a life of unusual beauty, rich in blossoms and fruits. We implore the descent of the Just One from heaven. But His justice will not make His countenance the less benevolent, nor His eyes the less loving. He comes not to reproach, not to drive sin-laden man away in confusion; He comes as the Saviour, calling to Himself all who are weary or burdened.(Referenced by the Traditionalist Catholic Blog Rorate Caeli on the occasion of its ninth anniversary.)