OREMUS: 11 August 2009

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Mon Aug 10 23:30:39 GMT 2009


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OREMUS for Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Clare of Assisi, Founder of the Order of Minoresses (Poor Clares), 1253

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

Blessed are you, O Lord,
from the rising of the sun to its going down,
your Name is praised,
for you have raised us from the dust and set before us
the vision of your glory.
As you bestowed upon us the dignity of a royal priesthood,
you lift up our hearts to celebrate your praise.
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. 
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Psalm 5

Give ear to my words, O Lord;*
 consider my meditation.
Hearken to my cry for help, my King and my God,*
 for I make my prayer to you.
In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice;*
 early in the morning I make my appeal
   and watch for you.
For you are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness*
 and evil cannot dwell with you.
Braggarts cannot stand in your sight;*
 you hate all those who work wickedness.
You destroy those who speak lies;*
 the bloodthirsty and deceitful, O Lord, you abhor.
But as for me, through the greatness of your mercy,
   I will go into your house;*
 I will bow down towards your holy temple in awe of you.
Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness,
   because of those who lie in wait for me;*
 make your way straight before me.
For there is no truth in their mouth;*
 there is destruction in their heart;
Their throat is an open grave;*
 they flatter with their tongue.
Declare them guilty, O God;*
 let them fall, because of their schemes.
Because of their many transgressions cast them out,*
 for they have rebelled against you.
But all who take refuge in you will be glad;*
 they will sing out their joy for ever.
You will shelter them,*
 so that those who love your name may exult in you.
For you, O Lord, will bless the righteous;*
 you will defend them with your favour as with a shield.

Great and Wonderful (Revelation 15.3,4)

Great and wonderful are your deeds, . 
Lord God the Almighty. 
Just and true are your ways, . 
O ruler of the nations. 
Who shall not revere and praise your name, O Lord? . 
for you alone are holy. 
All nations shall come and worship in your presence: . 
for your just dealings have been revealed.

Psalm 147:1-12

Alleluia!
   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.
 Alleluia!

FIRST READING [1 Samuel 16:14-end]:

Now the spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him. And Saul's servants said to him, 'See now, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. Let our lord now command the servants who attend you to look for someone who is skilful in playing the lyre; and when the evil spirit from God is upon you, he will play it, and you will feel better.' So Saul said to his servants, 'Provide for me someone who can play well, and bring him to me.' One of the young men answered, 'I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite who is skilful in playing, a man of valour, a warrior, prudent in speech, and a man of good presence; and the Lord is with him.' So Saul sent messengers to Jesse, and said, 'Send me your son David who is with the sheep.' Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, a skin of wine, and a kid, and sent them by his son David to Saul. And David came to Saul, and entered his service. Saul loved him greatly, and he became his armour-bearer. Saul sent to Jesse, saying, 'Let David remain in my service, for he has found favour in my sight.' And whenever the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, David took the lyre and played it with his hand, and Saul would be relieved and feel better, and the evil spirit would depart from him.

HYMN 
Words: Scottish Psalter (1650)
Tune: Harington

How lovely is thy dwelling-place,
O Lord of hosts, to me!
The tabernacles of thy grace
How pleasant, Lord, they be!

My thirsty soul longs vehemently,
Yea faints, thy courts to see:
My very heart and flesh cry out,
O living God, for thee.

Behold, the sparrow findeth out
An house wherein to rest;
The swallow also for herself
Hath purchasèd a nest;

Even thine own altars, where she safe
Her young ones forth may bring,
O thou almighty Lord of hosts,
Who art my God and King.

Blest are they in thy house that dwell,
They ever give thee praise.
Blest is the man whose strength thou art,
In whose heart are thy ways.

SECOND READING [Luke 18:1-14]:

Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. He said, 'In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, “Grant me justice against my opponent.” For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, “Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.” ' And the Lord said, 'Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?' 

He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt: 'Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax-collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, “God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax-collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.” But the tax-collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!” I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.' 

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

Prayer:
Ever-present Spirit of God,
as we abide with you and you with us,
we cry out for our brothers and sisters:
Healing Spirit,
hear our prayer.

For all who suffer want, loneliness or depression:
Healing Spirit,
hear our prayer.

For racial, cultural and national groups
who suffer prejudice, oppressive leaders
or economic exploitation.
Healing Spirit,
hear our prayer.

For the Church in those places where it suffers
blindness, controversy, disorientation,
persecution or change.
Healing Spirit,
hear our prayer.

For those we have to tried to love and serve today.
Healing Spirit,
hear our prayer.

O Lord, our King and our God,
whose own dear Son trod for us the path of suffering
and was delivered up into the hands of the wicked:
lead us in the way of righteousness
and make straight our path through all temptations,
O Lord, our shield and defence. Amen.
		
God of peace, 
who in the poverty of the blessed Clare 
gave us a clear light to shine 
in the darkness of this world: 
give us grace so to follow in her footsteps 
that we may, at the last, 
rejoice with her in your eternal glory;
through 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

Calm our fears and strengthen our faith
that we may never doubt the presence of Jesus Christ our Lord,
but proclaim him as your Son, risen from the dead, living for ever and ever.
Amen.

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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 closing sentence are adapted from prayers by Alan Griffiths..

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.

Clare Offreduccio, born in 1194, was the daughter of a wealthy family in Assisi
(43:04 N 12:37 E). When she was eighteen years old, she heard a sermon by
Francis of Assisi, and was moved by it to follow the example of the Franciscan
brothers and vow herself to a life of poverty. Her family was horrified, and
brought her back home by force; but one night, in a gesture both tactical and
symbolic, she slipped out of her house through "the door of the dead" (a small
side door that was traditionally opened only to carry out a corpse) and
returned to the house of the Franciscans. Francis cut off her hair, and placed
her in a nearby convent. Later a house was found for her, and she was
eventually joined by two of her sisters, her widowed mother, and several
members of the wealthy Ubaldini family of Florence. Clare's best friend,
Pacifica, could not resist, and joined them, too.
The sisters of her order came to be known informally as Minoresses
(Franciscan brothers are Friars Minor = "lesser brothers") or as Poor Clares.
When the order was formed, Francis suggested Clare for the Superior. But she
refused the position until she turned twenty-one. They devoted themselves to
prayer, nursing the sick, and works of mercy for the poor and neglected.
They adopted a rule of life of extreme austerity (more so than of any other
order of women up to that time) and of absolute poverty, both individually and
collectively. They had no beds. They slept on twigs with patched hemp for
blankets. Wind and rain seeped through cracks in the ceilings. They ate very
little, with no meat at all. Whatever they ate was food they begged for. Clare
made sure she fasted more than anyone else. Despite this way of life, or
perhaps because of it, the followers of Clare were the most beautiful young
girls from the best families of Assisi.
The community of Poor Clares continues to this day, both in the Roman and in
the Anglican communions.



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