OREMUS: 10 December 2009

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Wed Dec 9 17:00:10 GMT 2009


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OREMUS for Thursday, December 10, 2009
Thomas Merton, Monk, Spiritual Writer, 1968

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

Blessed are you, God of eternity!
When the voice of the prophet was silent
and the faith of your people low;
when darkness had obscured light
and indifference displaced zeal:
you saw that the time was right,
and prepared to send your Son
to set us free from fear and despair
that we may be ready to welcome him
who comes as Savior and Lord. 
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. 

http://www.oremus.org/advocant.html

Psalm 53

The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God.'*
 All are corrupt and commit abominable acts;
   there is none who does any good.
God looks down from heaven upon us all,*
 to see if there is any who is wise,
   if there is one who seeks after God.
Every one has proved faithless;
   all alike have turned bad;*
 there is none who does good; no, not one.
Have they no knowledge, those evildoers*
 who eat up my people like bread
   and do not call upon God?
See how greatly they tremble,
   such trembling as never was;*
 for God has scattered the bones of the enemy;
   they are put to shame, because God has rejected them.
O that Israel's deliverance would come out of Zion!*
 when God restores the fortunes of his people
   Jacob will rejoice and Israel be glad.

Psalm 54

Save me, O God, by your name;*
 in your might, defend my cause.
Hear my prayer, O God;*
 give ear to the words of my mouth.
For the arrogant have risen up against me,
   and the ruthless have sought my life,*
 those who have no regard for God.
Behold, God is my helper;*
 it is the Lord who sustains my life.
Render evil to those who spy on me;*
 in your faithfulness, destroy them.
I will offer you a freewill sacrifice*
 and praise your name, O Lord, for it is good.
For you have rescued me from every trouble,*
 and my eye has seen the ruin of my foes.

Psalm 55

Hear my prayer, O God;*
 do not hide yourself from my petition.
Listen to me and answer me;*
 I have no peace, because of my cares.
I am shaken by the noise of the enemy*
 and by the pressure of the wicked;
For they have cast an evil spell upon me*
 and are set against me in fury.
My heart quakes within me,*
 and the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
Fear and trembling have come over me,*
 and horror overwhelms me.
And I said, 'O that I had wings like a dove!*
 I would fly away and be at rest.
'I would flee to a faroff place*
 and make my lodging in the wilderness.
'I would hasten to escape*
 from the stormy wind and tempest.œ
Swallow them up, O Lord; confound their speech;*
 for I have seen violence and strife in the city.
Day and night the watch make their rounds upon her walls,*
 but trouble and misery are in the midst of her.
There is corruption at her heart;*
 her streets are never free of oppression and deceit.
For had it been an adversary who taunted me,
   then I could have borne it;*
 or had it been an enemy who vaunted himself against me,
   then I could have hidden from him.
But it was you, one after my own heart,*
 my companion, my own familiar friend.
We took sweet counsel together,*
 and walked with the throng in the house of God.
But I will call upon God,*
 and the Lord will deliver me.
In the evening, in the morning and at noonday
   I will complain and lament,*
 and he will hear my voice.
He will bring me safely back from the battle
   waged against me;*
 for there are many who fight me.
God, who is enthroned of old,
   will hear me and bring them down;*
 they never change; they do not fear God.
My companion stretched forth his hand against his comrade;*
 he has broken his covenant.
His speech is softer than butter,*
 but war is in his heart.
His words are smoother than oil,*
 but they are drawn swords.
Cast your burden upon the Lord and he will sustain you;*
 he will never let the righteous stumble.
For you will bring the bloodthirsty and deceitful*
 down to the pit of destruction, O God.
They shall not live out half their days,*
 but I will put my trust in you.

FIRST READING [Isaiah 13:1-5, 17-22]:

On a bare hill raise a signal,
   cry aloud to them;
wave the hand for them to enter
   the gates of the nobles. 
I myself have commanded my consecrated ones,
   have summoned my warriors, my proudly exulting ones,
   to execute my anger. 

Listen, a tumult on the mountains
   as of a great multitude!
Listen, an uproar of kingdoms,
   of nations gathering together!
The Lord of hosts is mustering
   an army for battle. 
They come from a distant land,
   from the end of the heavens,
the Lord and the weapons of his indignation,
   to destroy the whole earth. 

See, I am stirring up the Medes against them,
   who have no regard for silver
   and do not delight in gold. 
Their bows will slaughter the young men;
   they will have no mercy on the fruit of the womb;
   their eyes will not pity children. 
And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms,
   the splendour and pride of the Chaldeans,
will be like Sodom and Gomorrah
   when God overthrew them. 
It will never be inhabited
   or lived in for all generations;
Arabs will not pitch their tents there,
   shepherds will not make their flocks lie down there. 
But wild animals will lie down there,
   and its houses will be full of howling creatures;
there ostriches will live,
   and there goat-demons will dance. 
Hyenas will cry in its towers,
   and jackals in the pleasant palaces;
its time is close at hand,
   and its days will not be prolonged. 

HYMN 
Words: Ernest James Dodgshun (1876-1944)
Meter: LM

Beloved Community of God,
In vision seen, a perfect whole,
All that we have we pledge to thee,
Our powers of body, mind, and soul.

The healthy frame, the steady nerve,
The active pulse of flesh and blood,
With these, we dedicate to thee
Our manhood and our womanhood.

All gains of skill and fruits of thought,
Whate'er we know, whate'er we feel,
Humbly we bring that we may prove
True servants of the commonweal.

Fair visions of the good and true
Wrought into speech and kindly deed,
These be our sacrament of love,
Our witness to the Christly creed.

King of the kingdom of our dreams,
>From dreams we turn to take our part
In that beloved Community
Where love is law in every heart.

SECOND READING [Revelation 14:1-13]:

Then I looked, and there was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion! And with him were one hundred and forty-four thousand who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder; the voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps, and they sing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one could learn that song except the one hundred forty-four thousand who have been redeemed from the earth. It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins; these follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They have been redeemed from humankind as first fruits for God and the Lamb, and in their mouth no lie was found; they are blameless. 

Then I saw another angel flying in mid-heaven, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation and tribe and language and people. He said in a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give him glory, for the hour of his judgement has come; and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.’ 

Then another angel, a second, followed, saying, ‘Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.’ 

Then another angel, a third, followed them, crying with a loud voice, ‘Those who worship the beast and its image, and receive a mark on their foreheads or on their hands, they will also drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured unmixed into the cup of his anger, and they will be tormented with fire and sulphur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image and for anyone who receives the mark of its name.’ 

Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and hold fast to the faith of Jesus. 

And I heard a voice from heaven saying, ‘Write this: Blessed are the dead who from now on die in the Lord.’ ‘Yes,’ says the Spirit, ‘they will rest from their labours, for their deeds follow them.’ 

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

Prayer:
Jesus our exalted Lord has been given all authority. 
Let us seek his intercession that our prayers may be perfected by his prayer.
 
Jesus Christ, great high priest, living for ever to intercede for us
pray for your Church, your broken body in the world(
We pray especially for the Diocese of
Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.
 
Jesus Christ, king of righteousness,
enthroned at the right hand of the majesty on high
pray for the world, and make it subject to your gentle rule(
Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.
 
Jesus Christ, Son of Man, drawing humanity into the life of God
pray for your bothers and sisters in need, distress or sorrow(
Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.
 
Jesus Christ, pioneer of our salvation,
bringing us to your glory through your death and resurrection
receive into your kingdom those who have died 
  trusting in your promises(
Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.
 
Jesus Christ, Lord of all things,
ascended far above from the heavens and filling the universe
pray for us who receive the gifts you give us 
  for work in your service(
Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.
 
Jesus Christ, 
keep the Church in the unity of the Spirit 
  and in the bond of peace,
and bring the whole created order to worship at your feet;
for you are alive and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

God of our salvation,
save us from envy,
and teach us to be content with what is enough.
We ask this in the Name of Jesus Christ the Lord. Amen.

O God, 
whose blessed Son became poor 
that we through his poverty might be rich:  
Deliver us from an inordinate love of this world, 
that we, inspired by the devotion of your servant Thomas Merton,
may serve you with singleness of heart, 
and attain to the riches of the age to come; 
through Jesus Christ our Lord, 
who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, 
one God, now and for ever. Amen. 

		
Awaiting his coming in glory,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

Remove those things which hinder love of you, O God,
that when your Son comes
he may find us waiting in awe and wonder.  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 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
_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.

The opening prayer of thanksgiving and the closing sentence are adapted from
_Chalice Worship_, (c) Chalice Press, 1997. Reproduced with
permission.

The first collect is from _Daily Prayer_, copyright
(c) The Scottish Episcopal Church, 1998. Used with permission. 
http://www.scottishepiscopal.com. 

Thomas Merton was born in 1915 in France, of American parents. His early
education was in France (Lycee de Montauban 1927-8) and England (Oakham
School, 1929-32; Clare College, Cambridge, 1933-4). He came to America and
attended Columbia University, graduated in English in 1938, worked there one
year as a teaching assistant, and got his MA in 1939. In 1939 he joined the
Roman Catholic Church, and taught at St Bonaventure for the next two years.
In 1941 he entered the Trappist monastery of Gethsemani near Louisville,
Kentucky. The Trappists, called more formally Cistercians of the Strict
Observance, are (or were before Vatican II) an extremely strict Roman
Catholic monastic order, devoted to communal prayer (they spend at least four
hours a day in chapel, chanting the praises of God), to private prayer and
contemplation, to study, and to manual labor. Except for those whose special
duties require otherwise, they are vowed not to speak except in praise of God.
Thus, when not singing in chapel, they are silent.
Toward the end of his life, Merton developed an interest in Buddhist and other
Far Eastern approaches to mysticism and contemplation, and their relation to
Christian approaches. He was attending an international conference on
Christian and Buddhist monasticism in Bangkok, Thailand, when he was
accidentally electrocuted on 10 December 1968. [James Kiefer]



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