OREMUS: 14 October 2008

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Mon Oct 13 17:00:00 GMT 2008

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OREMUS for Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Teresa of Avila, Teacher of the Faith, 1582

Lord, open our lips,
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Blessed are you, Lord of the feast,
you have prepared a table before all peoples
and poured out life with such abundance
that death cannot claim the triumph over your universe.
You call us again to your banquet
where we may may receive your holy food,
and, strengthened by what is honorable, just, and pure,
be transformed into a people of righteousness and peace.
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 11

In the Lord have I taken refuge;*
 how then can you say to me,
   'Fly away like a bird to the hilltop;
'For see how the wicked bend the bow
   and fit their arrows to the string,*
 to shoot from ambush at the true of heart.
'When the foundations are being destroyed,*
 what can the righteous do?'
The Lord is in his holy temple;*
 the Lord's throne is in heaven.
His eyes behold the inhabited world;*
 his piercing eye weighs our worth.
The Lord weighs the righteous as well as the wicked,*
 but those who delight in violence he abhors.
Upon the wicked he shall rain coals of fire
   and burning sulphur;*
 a scorching wind shall be their lot.
For the Lord is righteous;
   he delights in righteous deeds;*
 and the just shall see his face.

Psalm 12

Help me, Lord, for there is no godly one left;*
 the faithful have vanished from among us.
Everyone speaks falsely with their neighbour;*
 with a smooth tongue they speak from a double heart.
O that the Lord would cut off all smooth tongues,*
 and close the lips that utter proud boasts!
Those who say, 'With our tongue will we prevail;*
 our lips are our own; who is lord over us?'
'Because the needy are oppressed,
   and the poor cry out in misery,*
 I will rise up', says the Lord,
   'and give them the help they long for.'
The words of the Lord are pure words,*
 like silver refined from ore
   and purified seven times in the fire.
O Lord, watch over us*
 and save us from this generation for ever.
The wicked prowl on every side,*
 and that which is worthless is highly prized by everyone.

A Song of the Lamb (Revelation 19.1b,2a,5b,6b,7,9b)

Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, . 
whose judgements are true and just. 
Praise our God, all you his servants, . 
all who fear him, both small and great. 
The Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns: . 
let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory. 
For the marriage of the Lamb has come . 
and his bride has made herself ready. 
Blessed are those who are invited . 
to the wedding banquet of the Lamb.

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.

FIRST READING [Ecclesiastes 6:1-2, 7-12]:

There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, and it lies heavy upon humankind:
those to whom God gives wealth, possessions, and honour, so that they lack nothing
of all that they desire, yet God does not enable them to enjoy these things, but a
stranger enjoys them. This is vanity; it is a grievous ill.

All human toil is for the mouth, yet the appetite is not satisfied. For what advantage
have the wise over fools? And what do the poor have who know how to conduct
themselves before the living? Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of
desire; this also is vanity and a chasing after wind.

Whatever has come to be has already been named, and it is known what human beings
are, and that they are not able to dispute with those who are stronger. The more
words, the more vanity, so how is one the better? For who knows what is good for
mortals while they live the few days of their vain life, which they pass like a shadow?
For who can tell them what will be after them under the sun? 

Words: Teresa of Avila (1545-1582); translation by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Tune: Taize

Nada te turbe, nada te espante.
Quien a Dios tiene nada le falta.
Nada te turbe, nada te espante.
Solo Dios basta.

Let nothing disturb thee,
Nothing affright thee;
All things are passing,
God never changeth!
Patient endurance attaineth to all things;
Who God possesseth in nothing is wanting;
Alone God sufficeth.

SECOND READING [Matthew 22:34-end]:

When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together,
and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 'Teacher, which
commandment in the law is the greatest?' He said to him, ' "You shall love the Lord
your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind." This is
the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: "You shall love your
neighbour as yourself." On these two commandments hang all the law and the

Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them this question:
'What do you think of the Messiah? Whose son is he?' They said to him, 'The son of
David.' He said to them, 'How is it then that David by the Spirit calls him Lord,
"The Lord said to my Lord,
'Sit at my right hand,
   until I put your enemies under your feet' "?
If David thus calls him Lord, how can he be his son?' No one was able to give him an
answer, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions. 

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

Baptizing God,
you have plunged us into the waters as death to sin
and have raised us to be alive to you in joy and service.

For all whose eager and resolute living in you
makes them saints to us:
We thank you, Lord.

For the community made holy in Christ,
the living and the dead, the near and the far away:
We thank you, Lord.

For an awareness of our kinship
to holy and just men and women:
We thank you, Lord.

For reminding us that perfection in you is a journey
of consistent love to you and to others:
We thank you, Lord.

For sustaining us in the faithful use of means of grace,
that we may resolve to live in your love and peace:
We thank you, Lord.

God of truth,
protector of your people,
come to the aid of all who are poor and oppressed.
By the power of your life-giving Word
lead us in the ways of peace and integrity,
and give us the help we long for
in Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.

Merciful God,
who by your Spirit raised up your servant Teresa of Avila
to reveal to your Church the way of perfection:
grant that her teaching
may awaken in us a longing for holiness,
until we attain to the perfect union of love
in Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Gathering our prayers and praises into one,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

May we be mindful of God's call to holiness
and be clothed in the practice of good works,
that we may come to God's banquet prepared
to feast with the whole world.Amen.

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

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 and the closing prayer are reprinted from _Revised Common
Lectionary Prayers_, copyright (c) 2002 Consultation on Common Texts

The intercession is reprinted from _THE DAILY OFFICE: A Book of Hours of
Daily Prayer after the Use of the Order of Saint Luke_, (c) 1997 by The Order
of Saint Luke. Used by permission.

The first collect is from _Daily Prayer_, copyright (c) The Scottish
Episcopal Church, 1998. Used with permission. 

The second collect is from _Common Worship: Services and Prayers for
the Church of England_, material from which is included in this service is
copyright (c) The Archbishops' Council, 2000.

Teresa de Cepeda y Ahumada (later known as Teresa de Jesus) was born in
Avila, Spain, 28 March 1515, one of ten children whose mother died when she
was fifteen. Her family was of partly Jewish ancestry. Teresa, having read the
letters of Jerome, decided to become a nun, and when she was 20, she entered
the Carmelite convent in Avila. There she fell seriously ill, was in a coma for a
while, and partially paralyzed for three years. In her early years as a nun, she
was, by her account, assiduous in prayer while sick but lax and lukewarm in
her prayers and devotions when the sickness had passed. However, her prayer
life eventually deepened, she began to have visions and a vivid sense of the
presence of God, and was converted to a life of extreme devotion.
In 1560 she resolved to reform the monastery that had, she thought, departed
from the order's original intention and become insufficiently austere. Her
proposed reforms included strict enclosure (the nuns were not to go to parties
and social gatherings in town, or to have social visitors at the convent, but to
stay in the convent and pray and study most of their waking hours) and
discalcing (literally, taking off one's shoes, a symbol of poverty, humility, and
the simple life, uncluttered by luxuries and other distractions). In 1562 she
opened a new monastery in Avila, over much opposition in the town and from
the older monastery. At length Teresa was given permission to proceed with
her reforms, and she travelled throughout Spain establishing seventeen houses
of Carmelites of the Strict (or Reformed) Observance (the others are called
Carmelites of the Ancient Observance). The reformed houses were small, poor,
disciplined, and strictly enclosed. Teresa died 4 October 1582.
Teresa is reported to have been very attractive in person, witty, candid, and
affectionate. She is remembered both for her practical achievements and
organizing skill and for her life of contemplative prayer. Her books are read as
aids to the spiritual life by many Christians of all denominations. Her Life is her
autobiography to 1562; The Way of Perfection is a treatise on the Christian
walk, written primarily for her sisters but of help to others as well; The Book
of Foundations deals with establishing, organizing and overseeing the daily
functioning of religious communities; The Interior Castle (or The Castle of The
Soul) deals with the life of Christ in the heart of the believer. Most of these are
available in paperback. 31 of her poems and 458 of her letters survive.
Christ has no body now but yours
No hands, no feet on earth but yours
Yours are the eyes through which He looks
compassion on this world
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.

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