OREMUS: 10 February 2005

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Wed Feb 9 21:59:43 GMT 2005

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OREMUS for Thursday, February 10, 2005
Scholastica, sister of Benedict, Abbess of Plombariola, c.543

O God, make speed to save us;
O Lord, make haste to help us.

Blessed are you, God of compassion and mercy,
to you be praise and glory for ever.
In the darkness of our sin,
your light breaks forth like the dawn
and your healing springs up for deliverance.
As we rejoice in the gift of your saving help,
sustain us with your bountiful Spirit
and open our lips to sing your praise:
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
Blessed be God for ever!

An opening canticle may be sung. 


Psalm 119:73-96

Your hands have made me and fashioned me;*
 give me understanding,
   that I may learn your commandments.
Those who fear you will be glad when they see me,*
 because I trust in your word.

I know, O Lord, that your judgements are right*
 and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me.
Let your loving-kindness be my comfort*
 as you have promised to your servant.
Let your compassion come to me, that I may live,*
 for your law is my delight.
Let the arrogant be put to shame,
   for they wrong me with lies;*
 but I will meditate on your commandments.
Let those who fear you turn to me,*
 and also those who know your decrees.
Let my heart be sound in your statutes,*
 that I may not be put to shame.

My soul has longed for your salvation;*
 I have put my hope in your word.
My eyes have failed from watching for your promise,*
 and I say, 'When will you comfort me?'
I have become like a leather flask in the smoke,*
 but I have not forgotten your statutes.
How much longer must I wait?*
 when will you give judgement
   against those who persecute me?
The proud have dug pits for me;*
 they do not keep your law.
All your commandments are true;*
 help me, for they persecute me with lies.
They had almost made an end of me on earth,*
 but I have not forsaken your commandments.
In your loving-kindness, revive me,*
 that I may keep the decrees of your mouth.

O Lord, your word is everlasting;*
 it stands firm in the heavens.
Your faithfulness remains
   from one generation to another;*
 you established the earth and it abides.
By your decree these continue to this day,*
 for all things are your servants.
If my delight had not been in your law,*
 I should have perished in my affliction.
I will never forget your commandments,*
 because by them you give me life.
I am yours; O that you would save me!*
 for I study your commandments.
Though the wicked lie in wait for me to destroy me,*
 I will apply my mind to your decrees.
I see that all things come to an end,*
 but your commandment has no bounds.

A Song of Jonah (Jonah 2:2-7,9)

I called to you, O God, out of my distress
and you answered me;
out of the belly of Sheol I cried,
and you heard my voice.

You cast me into the deep,
into the heart of the seas,
and the flood surrounded me,
all your waves and billows passed over me.

Then I said, I am driven away from your sight;
how shall I ever look again upon your holy temple?

The waters closed in over me,
the deep was round about me;
weeds were wrapped around my head
at the roots of the mountains.

I went down to the land whose bars closed upon me for ever,
yet you brought up my life from the depths, O God.

As my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, O God,
and my prayer came to you, into your holy temple.

With the voice of thanksgiving, I will sacrifice to you;
what I have vowed I will pay,
deliverance belongs to the Lord!

Psalm 148

Praise the Lord from the heavens;*
 praise him in the heights.
Praise him, all you angels of his;*
 praise him, all his host.
Praise him, sun and moon;*
 praise him, all you shining stars.
Praise him, heaven of heavens,*
 and you waters above the heavens.
Let them praise the name of the Lord;*
 for he commanded and they were created.
He made them stand fast for ever and ever;*
 he gave them a law which shall not pass away.
Praise the Lord from the earth,*
 you sea-monsters and all deeps;
Fire and hail, snow and fog,*
 tempestuous wind, doing his will;
Mountains and all hills,*
 fruit trees and all cedars;
Wild beasts and all cattle,*
 creeping things and winged birds;
Kings of the earth and all peoples,*
 princes and all rulers of the world;
Young men and maidens,*
 old and young together.
Let them praise the name of the Lord,*
 for his name only is exalted,
   his splendour is over earth and heaven.
He has raised up strength for his people
   and praise for all his loyal servants,*
 the children of Israel, a people who are near him.

READING [Job 1:1-5]:

There was once a man in the land of Uz whose name was
Job. That man was blameless and upright, one who feared
God and turned away from evil. There were born to him
seven sons and three daughters. He had seven thousand
sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen,
five hundred donkeys, and very many servants; so that
this man was the greatest of all the people of the east.
His sons used to go and hold feasts in one another's
houses in turn; and they would send and invite their
three sisters to eat and drink with them. And when the
feast days had run their course, Job would send and
sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and
offer burnt-offerings according to the number of them
all; for Job said, 'It may be that my children have
sinned, and cursed God in their hearts.' This is what Job
always did.

For another Biblical reading,
Luke 12:22-34

Words: Charles Wesley, 1742
Tune: Stockton, Song 67
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O for a heart to praise my God,
a heart from sin set free,
a heart that always feels thy blood
so freely shed for me.

A heart resigned, submissive, meek,
my great Redeemer's throne,
where only Christ is heard to speak,
where Jesus reigns alone.

A humble, lowly, contrite, heart,
believing, true and clean,
which neither life nor death can part
from him that dwells within.

A heart in every thought renewed
and full of love divine,
perfect and right and pure and good,
a copy, Lord, of thine.

My heart, thou know'st, can never rest
till thou create my peace;
till of mine Eden repossessed,
from self, and sin, I cease.

Thy nature, gracious Lord, impart;
come quickly from above;
write thy new name upon my heart,
thy new, best name of Love.

The Benedictus (Morning), the 
Magnificat (Evening), or 
Nunc dimittis (Night) may follow.

Lord, open a path for your Word
To declare the mystery of Christ.

Turn now, O God of hosts;
Behold and tend the vine you have planted.

May your people rejoice and sing,
And your ministers be clothed with salvation.

May they stand and feed your flock
In the strength of your name.

Keep from trouble all those who trust in you
And forget not the poor for ever.

Have mercy, O Lord, upon us,
As we have put our hope in you.

For your Church, O Lord, we pray, especially
the Diocese of Madi & West Nile, Uganda,
The Rt Revd Enock Lee Drati, Bishop.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Direct us, O Lord, in all our doings 
with your most gracious favor,
and further us with your continual help; 
that in all our works begun, continued, and ended in you, 
we may glorify your holy Name, 
and finally, by your mercy, obtain everlasting life; 
through Jesus Christ our Lord, 
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Almighty God,
by whose grace Scholastica, the sister of Benedict,
became a burning and shining light in your Church:
inflame us with the same spirit of discipline and love,
that we may ever walk before you as children of light;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Trusting in the compassion of God,
let us pray as our Savior taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

Christ give us grace to grow in holiness,
to deny ourselves,
take up our cross, and follow him. Amen.

The psalms are from _Celebrating Common Prayer_ (Mowbray),
(c) The Society of Saint Francis 1992, which is used with permission.

The canticle, the opening thanksgiving and the invitation to the Lord's Prayer
from _Common Worship: Daily Prayer, Preliminary Edition_,
copyright (c) The Archbishops' Council, 2002.

The biblical passage is from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized
Edition), copyright (c) 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education
of  the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA. Used by
permission. All rights reserved.

The opening prayer of thanksgiving and the closing sentence are adapted from
prayers in _Book of Common Worship_, (c) 1993 Westminster
/ John Knox Press. 

The first collect is from _The Proper for the Lesser Feasts and
Fasts_, 3rd edition, (c) 1980 The Church Pension Fund.

The second collect is from The Book of Common Prayer According to
the Use of The Episcopal Church_.

Our only source of information on the life of Benedict of Nursia (480?-547?) is
the second book of the Dialogues of Pope Geogory the Great (540-604). This
work dates from less than 50 years after the death of Benedict and is based
upon the reminiscences of persons who knew the Abbot, yet it is not history or
biography in our modern sense. Instead it is intended as an edifying and
didactic tale illustrating the means by which humans journey towards God. 
Benedict, whose name in Latin means "Blessed," was born to a Christian family
in the mountains to the northeast of Rome. The Roman Empire was crumbling
and the Goths and Vandals controlled Italy. As a youth, he was sent to Rome
for schooling and there experienced a religious awakening which caused him to
renounce corrupt secular society and to join a band of Christian ascetics. He
later became a hermit, living in the hill region of Subiaco. His fame as a holy
person grew until he was importuned to become the abbot of a group of
monks, who eventually became so peeved by his reforming zeal that they
attempted to poison him. Benedict left them to their evil ways and began
organizing groups of his own followers into small monasteries. In about A.D.
529, he and a few disciples came to the mountain above the city of Cassino
where they established the monastery now known as Montecassino. This is
probably where he wrote the monastic Rule, the only document which remains
to us from his hand. Benedict's death occurred about 547, and tradition tells us
he died standing before the altar, supported by his brothers, a model of fidelity
and perseverance for all of his followers.  Scholastica is, according to
tradition, the twin sister of Benedict. She is a shadowy figure whom we know
from a single charming story in the Dialogues. She led some form of
consecrated life with a group of Christian women. Gregory tells us that yearly
she journeyed to meet her brother at a small house midway between their
residences. On one momentous occasion, as evening fell, Benedict packed up
his monks to return to the monastery from which, according to his own Rule,
he was not permitted to be absent overnight. Scholastica begged him to make
an exception and stay over so that they could continue their holy conversation.
When Benedict refused, Scholastica wept and prayed and immediately such a
torrent of rain fell that no one could leave the house. As Gregory says, the
woman's prayers prevailed with God because her love was the greater. When
Scholastica died, Benedict had her body brought to Montecassino and placed
in his own tomb. Scholastica's name means "she who has leisure to devote to
study." Some skeptical historians have suggested that she is only a literary
device: a personification of the Benedictine practice of reflective study. She
remains very real, however, to Benedictine women, with the reality which can
transcend simple historical existence, as a model of the feminine aspects of
Benedictine monasticism, and an example of the power of the soul who loves
God. [Sr. Margaret Clarke, O.S.B.; College of Saint Scholastica,

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