OREMUS: 14 December 2010

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Mon Dec 13 17:00:01 GMT 2010


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OREMUS for December 14
John of the Cross, Mystic, Poet, Teacher of the Faith, 1591

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

All glory and honour, thanks and praise
be given to you at all times and in all places, 
Lord, holy Father, true and living God, 
through Jesus Christ our Lord. 
For he is your eternal Word
through whom you have created all things
from the beginning
and formed us in your own image. 
In him the day of our deliverance has dawned. 
We rejoice that through him you make all things new
and we look for his coming in power and majesty to judge the world. 
In your great love you gave him
to become human for us and with us and to share our common life. 
For these and all your mercies, we praise you: 
Blessed be God for ever!

An opening canticle may be sung. 

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

Psalm 73

Truly, God is good to Israel,*
 to those who are pure in heart.
But as for me, my feet had nearly slipped;*
 I had almost tripped and fallen;
Because I envied the proud*
 and saw the prosperity of the wicked:
For they suffer no pain,*
 and their bodies are sleek and sound;
In the misfortunes of others they have no share;*
 they are not afflicted as others are;
Therefore they wear their pride like a necklace*
 and wrap their violence about them like a cloak.
Their iniquity comes from gross minds,*
 and their hearts overflow with wicked thoughts.
They scoff and speak maliciously;*
 out of their haughtiness they plan oppression.
They set their mouths against the heavens,*
 and their evil speech runs through the world.
And so the people turn to them*
 and find in them no fault.
They say, 'How should God know?*
 is there knowledge in the Most High?'
So then, these are the wicked;*
 always at ease, they increase their wealth.
In vain have I kept my heart clean,*
 and washed my hands in innocence.
I have been afflicted all day long,*
 and punished every morning.
Had I gone on speaking this way,*
 I should have betrayed the generation of your children.
When I tried to understand these things,*
 it was too hard for me;
Until I entered the sanctuary of God*
 and discerned the end of the wicked.
Surely, you set them in slippery places;*
 you cast them down in ruin.
O how suddenly do they come to destruction,*
 come to an end and perish from terror!
Like a dream when one awakens, O Lord,*
 when you arise you will make their image vanish.
When my mind became embittered,*
 I was sorely wounded in my heart.

I was stupid and had no understanding;*
 I was like a brute beast in your presence.
Yet I am always with you;*
 you hold me by my right hand.
You will guide me by your counsel,*
 and afterwards receive me with glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?*
 and having you I desire nothing upon earth.
Though my flesh and my heart should waste away,*
 God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever.
Truly, those who forsake you will perish;*
 you destroy all who are unfaithful.
But it is good for me to be near God;*
 I have made the Lord God my refuge.
I will speak of all your works*
 in the gates of the city of Zion.

Psalm 74 [CCP]

O God, why have you utterly cast us off?*
 why is your wrath so hot
   against the sheep of your pasture?
Remember your congregation that you purchased long ago,*
 the tribe you redeemed to be your inheritance,
   and Mount Zion where you dwell.
Turn your steps towards the endless ruins;*
 the enemy has laid waste everything in your sanctuary.
Your adversaries roared in your holy place;*
 they set up their banners as tokens of victory.
They were like men coming up with axes
   to a grove of trees;*
 they broke down all your carved work
   with hatchets and hammers.
They set fire to your holy place;*
 they defiled the dwellingplace of your name
   and razed it to the ground.
They said to themselves, 'Let us destroy them altogether.'*
 They burned down all the meetingplaces of God
   in the land.
There are no signs for us to see;
   there is no prophet left;*
 there is not one among us who knows how long.
How long, O God, will the adversary scoff?*
 will the enemy blaspheme your name for ever?
Why do you draw back your hand?*
 why is your right hand hidden in your bosom?
Yet God is my king from ancient times,*
 victorious in the midst of the earth.
You divided the sea by your might*
 and shattered the heads of the dragons upon the waters;
You crushed the heads of Leviathan*
 and gave him to the people of the desert for food.
You split open spring and torrent;*
 you dried up everflowing rivers.
Yours is the day, yours also the night;*
 you established the moon and the sun.
You fixed all the boundaries of the earth;*
 you made both summer and winter.
Remember, O Lord, how the enemy scoffed,*
 how a foolish people despised your name.
Do not hand over the life of your dove to wild beasts;*
 never forget the lives of your poor.
Look upon your covenant;*
 the dark places of the earth are haunts of violence.
Let not the oppressed turn away ashamed;*
 let the poor and needy praise your name.
Arise, O God, maintain your cause;*
 remember how fools revile you all day long.
Forget not the clamour of your adversaries,*
 the unending tumult of those who rise up against you.

FIRST READING [Isaiah 32:1-5,16-20]:

See, a king will reign in righteousness,
   and princes will rule with justice. 
Each will be like a hiding-place from the wind,
   a covert from the tempest,
like streams of water in a dry place,
   like the shade of a great rock in a weary land. 
Then the eyes of those who have sight will not be closed,
   and the ears of those who have hearing will listen. 
The minds of the rash will have good judgement,
   and the tongues of stammerers will speak readily and distinctly. 
A fool will no longer be called noble,
   nor a villain be said to be honourable. 

Then justice will dwell in the wilderness,
   and righteousness abide in the fruitful field. 
The effect of righteousness will be peace,
   and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust for ever. 
My people will abide in a peaceful habitation,
   in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting-places. 
The forest will disappear completely,
   and the city will be utterly laid low. 
Happy will you be who sow beside every stream,
   who let the ox and the donkey range freely. 

HYMN 
Words: Frederick Lucian Hosmer (1840-1929)
Tune: Irish, Stracathro

Thy kingdom come!- on bended knee
the passing ages pray;
and faithful souls have yearned to see
on earth that kingdom's day.

But the slow watches of the night
not less to God belong;
and for the everlasting right
the silent stars are strong.

And lo, already on the hills
the flags of dawn appear;
gird up your loins, ye prophet souls,
proclaim the day is near:

The day in whose clear-shining light
all wrong shall stand revealed,
when justice shall be throned in might,
and every hurt be healed;

When knowledge, hand in hand with peace,
shall walk the earth abroad:-
the day of perfect righteousness,
the promised day of God.

SECOND READING [Revelation 2:1–29]:

'To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands: 

'I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance. I know that you cannot tolerate evildoers; you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them to be false. I also know that you are enduring patiently and bearing up for the sake of my name, and that you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember then from what you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. Yet this is to your credit: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches. To everyone who conquers, I will give permission to eat from the tree of life that is in the paradise of God. 

'And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: These are the words of the first and the last, who was dead and came to life: 

'I know your affliction and your poverty, even though you are rich. I know the slander on the part of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Beware, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison so that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have affliction. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches. Whoever conquers will not be harmed by the second death. 

'And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: These are the words of him who has the sharp two-edged sword: 

'I know where you are living, where Satan's throne is. Yet you are holding fast to my name, and you did not deny your faith in me even in the days of Antipas my witness, my faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan lives. But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling-block before the people of Israel, so that they would eat food sacrificed to idols and practise fornication. So you also have some who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Repent then. If not, I will come to you soon and make war against them with the sword of my mouth. Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches. To everyone who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give a white stone, and on the white stone is written a new name that no one knows except the one who receives it. 

'And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: These are the words of the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze: 

'I know your works—your love, faith, service, and patient endurance. I know that your last works are greater than the first. But I have this against you: you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet and is teaching and beguiling my servants to practise fornication and to eat food sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her fornication. Beware, I am throwing her on a bed, and those who commit adultery with her I am throwing into great distress, unless they repent of her doings; and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am the one who searches minds and hearts, and I will give to each of you as your works deserve. But to the rest of you in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not learned what some call “the deep things of Satan”, to you I say, I do not lay on you any other burden; only hold fast to what you have until I come. To everyone who conquers and continues to do my works to the end,
I will give authority over the nations; 
to rule them with an iron rod,
   as when clay pots are shattered— 
even as I also received authority from my Father. To the one who conquers I will also give the morning star. Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches. 

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

Prayer:
Watchful at all times,
let us pray for strength to stand with confidence
before our Maker and Redeemer.

That God may bring in his kingdom with judgement and mercy,
let us pray to the Lord:
Come in your might, Lord Jesus.

That God may establish among the nations
his sceptre of righteousness, let us pray to the Lord: 
Come in your might, Lord Jesus.

That the Church, especially the Diocese of 
 may seek him in the scriptures
and recognise him in the breaking of the bread,
let us pray to the Lord:
Come in your might, Lord Jesus.

That God may bind up the brokenhearted,
restore the sick and raise up all who have fallen,
let us pray to the Lord:
Come in your might, Lord Jesus.

That the light of God(s coming may dawn
on all who live in darkness and in the shadow of death,
let us pray to the Lord:
Come in your might, Lord Jesus.

That with all the saints in light,
we may shine forth as lights of the world,
let us pray to the Lord:
Come in your might, Lord Jesus.

Righteous God, holy Redeemer,
renew your broken people with your Holy Spirit,
give them a vision of the coming dawn
and the courage to walk your narrow way,
that they may be a sign of hope to the needy
and proclaim the gracious name
of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
		
Almighty God, 
who taught us by the lips of your Son 
that through the narrow gate 
we shall find entrance to the kingdom: 
Grant that by the example of your servant John of the Cross, 
we may be ready to enter darkness 
before beholding the light of your glory;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and 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

You have made known to us again
the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:
confirm our faith and fix our eyes on him
until the day dawns
and Christ the Morning Star rises in our hearts. 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 is  preface in the _Book of Common Prayer 2004_ of the Church of Ireland and the closing prayer is from _New Patterns for Worship_, copyright (c) The Archbishops( Council, 2002.

Born to an impoverished noble family near Avila in Spain in 1542, Juan de Yepes was brought up by his widowed mother and went to a charity school. He worked as a nurse and received further education from the Jesuits before entering the Carmelite order when he was twenty-one. Having distinguished himself at Salamanca university, he was ordained in 1567 and met Teresa of Avila soon afterwards. Small of stature, he made a great impression on her and she persuaded him to help with her reform of the Carmelite order. His labours brought him into conflict with the religious authorities, and he was even imprisoned for a period, yet these experiences prompted some of his finest poetry and mystical writing. In particular, he described the 'dark night' of the soul as it is purified in its approach towards God. After ten years as superior to several different houses, he again fell out of favour and was banished to Andalusia in southern Spain, where he died after a severe illness on this day in 1591. [Exciting Holiness]


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