OREMUS: 10 February

Steve Benner oremus at insight.rr.com
Fri Feb 10 11:33:21 GMT 2006

OREMUS for Friday, February 10, 2006
Scholastica, sister of Benedict, Abbess of Plombariola, c.543

O Lord, open our lips.
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Blessed are you, O God,
through Jesus Christ, our Good Shepherd.
In the waters of baptism you give us new birth,
at your table you nourish us with heavenly food,
and in your goodness and mercy
you guide us beyond the terrors of evil and death
to your Father's home to dwell in eternal light.
For these and all your mercies, we praise you:
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
Blessed be God for ever!

An opening canticle may be sung.

Psalm 123
To you I lift up my eyes,*
  to you enthroned in the heavens.
As the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters,*
  and the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress,
So our eyes look to the Lord our God,*
  until he show us his mercy.
Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy,*
  for we have had more than enough of contempt,
Too much of the scorn of the indolent rich,*
  and of the derision of the proud.

Psalm 130
Out of the depths have I called to you, O Lord;
    Lord, hear my voice;*
  let your ears consider well the voice of my supplication.
If you, Lord, were to note what is done amiss,*
  O Lord, who could stand?
For there is forgiveness with you;*
  therefore you shall be feared.
I wait for the Lord; my soul waits for him;*
  in his word is my hope.
My soul waits for the Lord,
    more than the night-watch for the morning,*
  more than the night-watch for the morning.
O Israel, wait for the Lord,*
  for with the Lord there is mercy;
With him there is plenteous redemption,*
  and he shall redeem Israel from all their sins.

A Song of Faith (1 Peter 1.3-4,18-21)

Blessed be the God and Father
of our Lord Jesus Christ!

By his great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled and unfading,
kept in heaven for you.

Who are being protected by the power of God
through faith for a salvation,
ready to be revealed in the last time.

You were ransomed from the futile ways of your ancestors
not with perishable things like silver or gold

But with the precious blood of Christ
like that of a lamb without spot or stain.

Through him you have confidence in God,
who raised him from the dead and gave him glory,
so that your faith and hope are set on God.

Psalm 147:1-12
    How good it is to sing praises to our God!*
  how pleasant it is to honour him with praise!
The Lord rebuilds Jerusalem;*
  he gathers the exiles of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted*
  and binds up their wounds.
He counts the number of the stars*
  and calls them all by their names.
Great is our Lord and mighty in power;*
  there is no limit to his wisdom.
The Lord lifts up the lowly,*
  but casts the wicked to the ground.
Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;*
  make music to our God upon the harp.
He covers the heavens with clouds*
  and prepares rain for the earth;
He makes grass to grow upon the mountains*
  and green plants to serve us all.
He provides food for flocks and herds*
  and for the young ravens when they cry.
He is not impressed by the might of a horse,*
  he has no pleasure in human strength;
But the Lord has pleasure in those who fear him,*
  in those who await his gracious favour.

READING [Joshua 8:30-35]:

Joshua built on Mount Ebal an altar to the Lord, the God of Israel, just as 
Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded the Israelites, as it is 
written in the book of the law of Moses, 'an altar of unhewn stones, on 
which no iron tool has been used'; and they offered on it burnt-offerings 
to the Lord, and sacrificed offerings of well-being. And there, in the 
presence of the Israelites, Joshua wrote on the stones a copy of the law of 
Moses, which he had written. All Israel, alien as well as citizen, with 
their elders and officers and their judges, stood on opposite sides of the 
ark in front of the levitical priests who carried the ark of the covenant 
of the Lord, half of them in front of Mount Gerizim and half of them in 
front of Mount Ebal, as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded at the 
first, that they should bless the people of Israel. And afterwards he read 
all the words of the law, blessings and curses, according to all that is 
written in the book of the law. There was not a word of all that Moses 
commanded that Joshua did not read before all the assembly of Israel, and 
the women, and the little ones, and the aliens who resided among them.

For another Biblical reading, Luke 7:36-50

Words: Henry Williams Baker, 1861
Tune: Ravenshaw

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Lord, thy Word abideth,
and our footsteps guideth;
who its truth believeth
light and joy receiveth.

When our foes are near us,
then thy Word doth cheer us,
Word of consolation,
message of salvation.

When the storms are o'er us,
and dark clouds before us,
then its light directeth,
and our way protecteth.

Who can tell the pleasure,
who recount the treasure,
by thy Word imparted
to the simple-hearted?

Word of mercy, giving
succor to the living;
word of life, supplying
comfort to the dying!

O that we, discerning,
its most holy learning,
Lord, may love and fear thee,
evermore be near thee!

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

Great are you, Lord, and greatly to be praised!
There is no end to your greatness.
Let your Spirit shape and make new our character,
encourage us in constant prayer,
direct us in the way of love
and bring us at last to heaven with all your saints in light.

All that is unfinished in us and in the world,
we entrust to you, Lord.

Every aspiration, longing and dream
crushed by temptation, sin and dullness of heart,
we entrust to you, Lord.

Holy Church seeking to offer you worship
in every place and culture, especially in the Diocese of
Atlanta, USA, The Rt Revd John Neil Alexander, Bishop.
we entrust to you, Lord.

Every people and tribe oppressed
by the greed and prejudice of others,
we entrust to you, Lord.

The empty and hungry places in our spirits
and in our relationships with others,
we entrust to you, Lord.

Lord of mercy and redemption,
rescue us, we pray, from the depths of sin and death;
forgive us what we do wrong,
and give us grace to stand in your presence,
to serve you in Jesus Christ our Lord. 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.

Rejoicing in the presence of God here among us,
let us pray in faith and trust:

- The Lord's Prayer

The God of love who calls us,
guide us this day and always:
his might uphold us,
his love enfold us,
his peace empower us;
in Jesus' Name. Amen.

The psalms, first collect and the invitation to the Lord's Prayer are from 
Celebrating Common Prayer (Mowbray), © The Society of Saint Francis 1992, 
which is used with permission.

The canticle is from Common Worship: Daily Prayer, Preliminary Edition, 
copyright © The Archbishops' Council, 2002.

The biblical passage is from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized 
Edition), copyright © 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 is adapted from Daily Prayer, copyright 
© The Scottish Episcopal Church, 1998. Used with permission. 

The closing prayer is adapted from a prayer by David Adam.

The intercession is adapted from a prayer reprinted from THE DAILY OFFICE: 
A Book of Hours of Daily Prayer after the Use of the Order of Saint Luke, © 
1997 by The Order of Saint Luke. Used by permission.

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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