OREMUS: 12 November 2007

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Sun Nov 11 17:00:01 GMT 2007

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OREMUS for Monday, November 12, 2007 
Joseph Bernardin, Archbishop of Chicago, Ecumenist, 1996

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

Blessed are you, ever-living God,
you inscribe our names in your book of life
so that we may share the firstfruits of salvation.
You protect the widows and strangers,
the oppressed and forgotten,
and feed the hungry with good things.
You stand among us in Christ, offering life to all.
You call us to respond with open hearts and minds to the world,
caring for those for whom you care. 
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 119:25-48

My soul cleaves to the dust;*
 give me life according to your word.
I have confessed my ways and you answered me;*
 instruct me in your statutes.
Make me understand the way of your commandments,*
 that I may meditate on your marvellous works.
My soul melts away for sorrow;*
 strengthen me according to your word.
Take from me the way of lying;*
 let me find grace through your law.
I have chosen the way of faithfulness;*
 I have set your judgements before me.
I hold fast to your decrees;*
 O Lord, let me not be put to shame.
I will run the way of your commandments,*
 for you have set my heart at liberty.
Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes,*
 and I shall keep it to the end.
Give me understanding and I shall keep your law;*
 I shall keep it with all my heart.
Make me go in the path of your commandments,*
 for that is my desire.
Incline my heart to your decrees*
 and not to unjust gain.
Turn my eyes from watching what is worthless;*
 give me life in your ways.
Fulfil your promise to your servant,*
 which you make to those who fear you.
Turn away the reproach which I dread,*
 because your judgements are good.
Behold, I long for your commandments;*
 in your righteousness preserve my life.
Let your loving-kindness come to me, O Lord,*
 and your salvation, according to your promise.
Then shall I have a word for those who taunt me,*
 because I trust in your words.
Do not take the word of truth out of my mouth,*
 for my hope is in your judgements.
I shall continue to keep your law;*
 I shall keep it for ever and ever.
I will walk at liberty,*
 because I study your commandments.
I will tell of your decrees before kings*
 and will not be ashamed.
I delight in your commandments,*
 which I have always loved.
I will lift up my hands to your commandments,*
 and I will meditate on your statutes.

A Song of Tobit (Tobit 13.1,3,4-6a)

Blessed be God, who lives for ever,  
whose reign endures throughout all ages. 
Declare God's praise before the nations,  
you who are the children of Israel. 
For if our God has scattered you among them,  
there too has he shown you his greatness. 
Exalt him in the sight of the living,  
because he is our Lord and God and our Father for ever. 
Though God punishes you for your wickedness,  
mercy will be shown to you all. 
God will gather you from every nation,  
from wherever you have been scattered. 
When you turn to the Lord 
with all your heart and soul,  
God will hide his face from you no more. 
See what the Lord has done for you  
and give thanks with a loud voice. 
Praise the Lord of righteousness  
and exalt the King of the ages. 

Psalm 150

   Praise God in his holy temple;*
 praise him in the firmament of his power.
Praise him for his mighty acts;*
 praise him for his excellent greatness.
Praise him with the blast of the ram's-horn;*
 praise him with lyre and harp.
Praise him with timbrel and dance;*
 praise him with strings and pipe.
Praise him with resounding cymbals;*
 praise him with loud-clanging cymbals.
Let everything that has breath*
 praise the Lord.

FIRST READING [Wisdom 1:1-7]:

Love righteousness, you rulers of the earth,
think of the Lord in goodness
and seek him with sincerity of heart;
because he is found by those who do not put him to the test,
and manifests himself to those who do not distrust him.
For perverse thoughts separate people from God,
and when his power is tested, it exposes the foolish;
because wisdom will not enter a deceitful soul,
or dwell in a body enslaved to sin.
For a holy and disciplined spirit will flee from deceit,
and will leave foolish thoughts behind,
and will be ashamed at the approach of unrighteousness.

For wisdom is a kindly spirit,
but will not free blasphemers from the guilt of their words;
because God is witness of their inmost feelings,
and a true observer of their hearts, and a hearer of their tongues.
Because the spirit of the Lord has filled the world,
and that which holds all things together knows what is said

Words: (c) Vincent Uher
Tune: Old 124th

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Lord Jesus Christ, lead us, your little flock.
We all would journey to your promised land.
Increase our faith to trust you, Christ our Rock,
whose living waters quench the deserts' thirst.
Now to those waters guide us by your hand.

We do confess our selfish, prideful ways
serving our own wants not our neighbours' need.
Yet at this hour we turn from yesterdays
and sing a new song full of faith and hope.
Do, Lord, forgive and wash us clean indeed.

Our hearts' own treasure and our highest joy,
Jesus, we praise you, Saviour and our Lord.
Our souls and bodies, all our lives employ.
We sacrifice to you our wealth and power.
May what we give help others find you, Lord.

In that new city coming from above,
Lord, to your high feast we would gladly come.
For that great day, the triumph of your love,
we stand on guard with all your angels now.
Lord Christ, we pray to see your kingdom come.

SECOND READING [Luke 17:1-6]:

Jesus said to his disciples, 'Occasions for stumbling are bound to come, but woe to
anyone by whom they come! It would be better for you if a millstone were hung
around your neck and you were thrown into the sea than for you to cause one of these
little ones to stumble. Be on your guard! If another disciple sins, you must rebuke the
offender, and if there is repentance, you must forgive. And if the same person sins
against you seven times a day, and turns back to you seven times and says, "I repent",
you must forgive.'
The apostles said to the Lord, 'Increase our faith!' The Lord replied, 'If you had faith
the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, "Be uprooted and
planted in the sea", and it would obey you. 

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

We pray for the coming of God's kingdom.

You sent your Son to bring news to the poor,
sight to the blind, freedom to captives
and salvation to your people:
anoint us with your Spirit;
rouse us to work in his name:
Father, by your Spirit
bring in your kingdom.

Send us to bring help to the poor and freedom to the oppressed:
Father, by your Spirit
bring in your kingdom.

Send us to tell the world the good news of your healing love:
Father, by your Spirit
bring in your kingdom.

Send us to those who mourn
to bring joy and gladness instead of grief:
Father, by your Spirit
bring in your kingdom.

Send us to proclaim that the time is here 
for you to save your people:
Father, by your Spirit
bring in your kingdom.

Lord of the Church
hear our prayer, 
and make us one in mind and heart
to serve you in Christ our Lord. Amen.

God our Father, 
your Son came in love to deliver us 
and to equip us for eternal life: 
Free us from all that hinders us 
from running the race you have set before us; 
through Jesus Christ our Lord, 
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 
one God, now and forever. Amen. 

Loving and merciful God,
you set us in this world to discover the fullness of our humanity:
Give us the strength and courage 
displayed in your servant Joseph Bernardin
to become living signs of Christ's loving presence 
that all who are lonely or hurt, 
abused or abandoned, 
vulnerable or alienated 
might experience the love of him
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Uniting our prayers with the whole company of heaven,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

Grant that as we serve yo now on earth,
so we may one day rejoice with all the saints
in your kingdom of light and peace,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The psalms and the invitation to the Lord's Prayer are from _Celebrating Common
Prayer_ (Mowbray), (c) The Society of Saint Francis 1992, which is used with

The canticle is 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 reprinted from _Revised Common Lectionary Prayers_,
copyright (c) 2002 Consultation on Common Texts

Hymn Copyright   1995 Vincent Uher. All rights reserved. Reproduced with permission.
Permission granted for one time use with inclusion of copyright notice and email
notification to Fr Vincent Uher vuher at alumni.rice.edu.

The second collect is by Stephen Benner and uses words by Joseph Bernardin.

Joseph Louis Bernardin was born April 2, 1928 to Joseph and Maria
Bernardin, recent immigrants from the north of Italy. Having lost his father to
cancer at the age of six, Joseph took responsibility for his younger sister,
Elaine while Mrs. Bernardin worked as a seamstress. 
Joseph Bernardin was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Charleston in 1952.
In 1966, Pope Paul VI appointed Monsignor Bernardin an Auxiliary Bishop of
the Archdiocese of Atlanta. Upon his episcopal consecration on April 26, 1966
at the hands of Bernardin's mentor, Archbishop Paul Hallinan, Bernardin
became the youngest bishop in America.
Bishop Joseph Bernardin continued to serve the Church from 1968 through
1972, as the first General Secretary of the National Conference of Catholic
Bishops/United States Catholic Conference (NCCB/USCC). He was
instrumental in shaping the Catholic Church in the United States according to
the vision of the Second Vatican Council. Bernardin's evenhandedness and
compassion made him well suited to act as a mediator, and he was called to
reconcile diverging parties in the changing Post-Conciliar Church.
On November 21, 1972, Bishop Bernardin was appointed Archbishop of
Cincinnati by Pope Paul VI, and was installed less than a month later in a
ceremony at the Cathedral of Saint Peter in Chains. While Archbishop of
Cincinnati, worked to improve relations between Catholics and Jews and
strove for better understanding between the Catholic Church and Protestant
In 1982, Bernardin was installed as the Archbishop of Chicago. He served as
head of the NCCB/USCC Ad Hoc Committee on War and Peace, which
drafted the pastoral letter The Challenge of Peace: God's Promise and Our
Response. This book-length pastoral letter challenged the morality of nuclear
deterrence, and sparked a decade's long debate in both the United States and
Joseph Cardinal Bernardin worked diligently for social justice in a changing
world. Beginning in 1983, Cardinal Bernardin called for a "consistent ethic of
life" in an age when modern technologies threatened the sanctity of all human
life at every turn, be it abortion, euthanasia, modern warfare, or capital
punishment. Cardinal Bernardin consistently spoke out against the increasing
violence in Lebanon, Israel, Northern Ireland, and elsewhere. Additionally,
Cardinal Bernardin was the first to offer a Mass for divorced and separated
Catholics at Holy Name Cathedral.
In 1985, Cardinal Bernardin established an AIDS task force to determine how
the Archdiocese might best care for those stricken by the AIDS crisis. In 1989,
the Cardinal dedicated Bonaventure House with the help of the Alexian
Brothers, a residential facility for people suffering with AIDS.
Ardently adhering to the teaching of the Second Vatican Council, Cardinal
Bernardin, first in Cincinnati, then in Chicago, was committed to ecumenical
and interfaith dialogues. While Archbishop of Cincinnati, Bernardin maintained
dialogues with local congregations of Jews, Presbyterians, Episcopalians and
Lutherans. In Chicago, this dedication led to the formation of the Council of
Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago in 1985. Subsequently, under his
leadership, the Archdiocese of Chicago established official covenants with both
the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago and the Evangelical Lutheran Metropolitan
In June of 1995, following a string of international visits and pilgrimages,
Cardinal Bernardin underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer. Following the
operation, Bernardin began his cancer ministry. Bernardin so touched the lives
of cancer patients, relating to them on such a personal and spiritual level, that
countless sick, dying and survivors of the terror of cancer wrote to him,
expressing their thanks, admiration, love and hope.
In October 1996, the Cardinal withdrew from his active ministry due to his
deteriorating strength. Reflecting on Jesus in the Garden of Gesthemeni,
Bernardin personally faced death in full view of the world: Bernardin was
teaching us how to die. In his last days, Cardinal Bernardin wrote to the United
States Supreme Court against assisted suicide. The Cardinal always defended
the precious gift of human life. On November 14, 1996, Joseph Cardinal
Bernardin died at the age of sixty-eight.
Joseph Louis Bernardin invested the whole of his life showing the way of peace
and conciliation to the world. He worked for justice, he strove for peace, and
he gave all his strength to make life better for whomever he could. Through his
many homilies, addresses, and pastoral letters, Cardinal Bernardin insisted that
action be taken to preserve human life, dignity, and security by showing us that
there is no other moral alternative. Even facing death, Bernardin showed us the
gift and joy of life. [The Archdiocese of Chicago, abridged]

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