OREMUS: 10 February 2010

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Tue Feb 9 17:00:10 GMT 2010


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OREMUS for Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Scholastica, sister of Benedict, Abbess of Plombariola, c.543

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

Blessed are you, O God,
through Jesus Christ, our Good Shepherd.
In the waters of baptism you give us new birth,
at your table you nourish us with heavenly food,
and in your goodness and mercy
you guide us beyond the terrors of evil and death
to your Father's home to dwell in eternal light.
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/ocan.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 [Genesis 9:8-17]:

 Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, 'As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark. I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.' God said, 'This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.' God said to Noah, 'This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.'

HYMN 
Words: Bernard of Cluny (fl c 1140), John Mason Neale (1818-66), Hymns Ancient and Modern (1861),
Tune: Ewing, Pearsall, St. Alphege

Jerusalem the golden,
with milk and honey blest,
beneath thy contemplation
sink heart and voice opprest.
I know not, O I know not
what joys await us there,
what radiancy of glory,
what bliss beyond compare.

They stand, those halls of Sion,
all jubilant with song,
and bright with many an angel
and all the martyr throng;
the Prince is ever with them,
the daylight is serene,
the pastures of the blessed
are decked in glorious sheen.

There is the throne of David;
and there, from care released,
the song of them that triumph,
the shout of them that feast;
and they, who with their Leader
have conquered in the fight,
for ever and for ever
are clad in robes of white.

O sweet and blessed country,
the home of God's elect!
O sweet and blessed country
that eager hearts expect!
Jesus in mercy bring us
to that dear land of rest;
who art, with God the Father
and Spirit, ever blest.

SECOND READING [Gal. 4:12-20]:

Friends, I beg you, become as I am, for I also have become as you are. You have done me no wrong. You know that it was because of a physical infirmity that I first announced the gospel to you; though my condition put you to the test, you did not scorn or despise me, but welcomed me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus. What has become of the goodwill you felt? For I testify that, had it been possible, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me. Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth? They make much of you, but for no good purpose; they want to exclude you, so that you may make much of them. It is good to be made much of for a good purpose at all times, and not only when I am present with you. My little children, for whom I am again in the pain of childbirth until Christ is formed in you, I wish I were present with you now and could change my tone, for I am perplexed about you.

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

Prayer:
Bountiful God, you give us every good gift; 
hear us as we offer our prayers to you.

We pray for our family and friends
and for all who are dear to us,
that in following you and rejoicing in your mercy,
they may share in your joy for ever.
Bountiful God,
hear our prayer.

We pray for those who are worn by their work,

for older persons and for children,
that they may know you are the strength of the weak
and the refuge of the distressed.
Bountiful God,
hear our prayer.

We pray for all who follow Christ,
that they may grow in their sense of discipleship
and calling to proclaim the Good News to others.
Bountiful God,
hear our prayer.

We pray for all in the medical professions,
that they may work wisely to promote health,
knowing that you are source of all healing.
Bountiful God,
hear our prayer.

We pray for all who are persecuted 
for the sake of righteousness
and for all who are oppressed,
that they may gain the true liberation which comes from you alone.
Bountiful God,
hear our prayer.

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.

Almighty God,
by whose grace Scholastica, the sister of Benedict,
became a burning and shining light in your Church:
inflame us with the same spirit of discipline and love,
that we may ever walk before you as children of light;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and 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

The God of love who calls us,
guide us this day and always:
his might uphold us,
his love enfold us,
his peace empower us;
in Jesus' Name. 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
prayers reprinted from _Revised Common Lectionary Prayers_,
copyright (c) 2002 Consultation on Common Texts.

Our only source of information on the life of Benedict of Nursia (480?-547?) is
the second book of the Dialogues of Pope Geogory the Great (540-604). This
work dates from less than 50 years after the death of Benedict and is based
upon the reminiscences of persons who knew the Abbot, yet it is not history or
biography in our modern sense. Instead it is intended as an edifying and
didactic tale illustrating the means by which humans journey towards God. 
Benedict, whose name in Latin means "Blessed," was born to a Christian family
in the mountains to the northeast of Rome. The Roman Empire was crumbling
and the Goths and Vandals controlled Italy. As a youth, he was sent to Rome
for schooling and there experienced a religious awakening which caused him to
renounce corrupt secular society and to join a band of Christian ascetics. He
later became a hermit, living in the hill region of Subiaco. His fame as a holy
person grew until he was importuned to become the abbot of a group of
monks, who eventually became so peeved by his reforming zeal that they
attempted to poison him. Benedict left them to their evil ways and began
organizing groups of his own followers into small monasteries. In about A.D.
529, he and a few disciples came to the mountain above the city of Cassino
where they established the monastery now known as Montecassino. This is
probably where he wrote the monastic Rule, the only document which remains
to us from his hand. Benedict's death occurred about 547, and tradition tells us
he died standing before the altar, supported by his brothers, a model of fidelity
and perseverance for all of his followers.  Scholastica is, according to
tradition, the twin sister of Benedict. She is a shadowy figure whom we know
from a single charming story in the Dialogues. She led some form of
consecrated life with a group of Christian women. Gregory tells us that yearly
she journeyed to meet her brother at a small house midway between their
residences. On one momentous occasion, as evening fell, Benedict packed up
his monks to return to the monastery from which, according to his own Rule,
he was not permitted to be absent overnight. Scholastica begged him to make
an exception and stay over so that they could continue their holy conversation.
When Benedict refused, Scholastica wept and prayed and immediately such a
torrent of rain fell that no one could leave the house. As Gregory says, the
woman's prayers prevailed with God because her love was the greater. When
Scholastica died, Benedict had her body brought to Montecassino and placed
in his own tomb. Scholastica's name means "she who has leisure to devote to
study." Some skeptical historians have suggested that she is only a literary
device: a personification of the Benedictine practice of reflective study. She
remains very real, however, to Benedictine women, with the reality which can
transcend simple historical existence, as a model of the feminine aspects of
Benedictine monasticism, and an example of the power of the soul who loves
God. [Sr. Margaret Clarke, O.S.B.; College of Saint Scholastica,
http://news.css.edu/about/benandschol.shtml] 



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