OREMUS: 12 January 2010

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Mon Jan 11 17:00:00 GMT 2010


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OREMUS for Tuesday, January 12, 2009
Aelred, Abbot of Rievaulx, 1167

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

Blessed are you, God of wonderful knowledge,
whose voice calls each of us by name.
You confounded our expectation
by revealing yourself to the lowly
and you also confound our fear
that we may not be afraid
to face the powerful of this earth
with your word of judgment,
in the sure knowledge
that nothing spoken in your name will be lost.
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 62

For God alone my soul in silence waits;*
 from him comes my salvation.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,*
 my stronghold, so that I shall not be greatly shaken.
How long will you assail me to crush me,
   all of you together,*
 as if you were a leaning fence, a toppling wall?
They seek only to bring me down
   from my place of honour;*
 lies are their chief delight.
They bless with their lips,*
 but in their hearts they curse.
For God alone my soul in silence waits;*
 truly, my hope is in him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,*
 my stronghold, so that I shall not be shaken.
In God is my safety and my honour;*
 God is my strong rock and my refuge.
Put your trust in him always, O people,*
 pour out your hearts before him, for God is our refuge.
Those of high degree are but a fleeting breath,*
 even those of low estate cannot be trusted.
On the scales they are lighter than a breath,*
 all of them together.
Put no trust in extortion;
   in robbery take no empty pride;*
 though wealth increase, set not your heart upon it.
God has spoken once, twice have I heard it,*
 that power belongs to God.
Steadfast love is yours, O Lord,*
 for you repay everyone according to his deeds.

Psalm 63

O God, you are my God; eagerly I seek you;*
 my soul thirsts for you, my flesh faints for you,
   as in a barren and dry land where there is no water;
Therefore I have gazed upon you in your holy place,*
 that I might behold your power and your glory.
For your lovingkindness is better than life itself;*
 my lips shall give you praise.
So will I bless you as long as I live*
 and lift up my hands in your name.
My soul is content, as with marrow and fatness,*
 and my mouth praises you with joyful lips,
When I remember you upon my bed,*
 and meditate on you in the night watches.
For you have been my helper,*
 and under the shadow of your wings I will rejoice.
My soul clings to you;*
 your right hand holds me fast.

Psalm 64

Hear my voice, O God, when I complain;*
 protect my life from fear of the enemy.
Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked,*
 from the mob of evildoers.
They sharpen their tongue like a sword,*
 and aim their bitter words like arrows,
That they may shoot down the blameless from ambush;*
 they shoot without warning and are not afraid.
They hold fast to their evil course;*
 they plan how they may hide their snares.
They say, 'Who will see us?
   who will find out our crimes?*
 we have thought out a perfect plot.'
The human mind and heart are a mystery;*
 but God will loose an arrow at them,
   and suddenly they will be wounded.
He will make them trip over their tongues,*
 and all who see them will shake their heads.
Everyone will stand in awe and declare God's deeds;*
 they will recognise his works.
The righteous will rejoice in the Lord
   and put their trust in him,*
 and all who are true of heart will glory.

FIRST READING [Proverbs 2:1-9]:

My child, if you accept my words
   and treasure up my commandments within you, 
making your ear attentive to wisdom
   and inclining your heart to understanding; 
if you indeed cry out for insight,
   and raise your voice for understanding; 
if you seek it like silver,
   and search for it as for hidden treasures— 
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
   and find the knowledge of God. 
For the Lord gives wisdom;
   from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; 
he stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
   he is a shield to those who walk blamelessly, 
guarding the paths of justice
   and preserving the way of his faithful ones. 
Then you will understand righteousness and justice
   and equity, every good path.

HYMN 
Words: Augustus Montague Toplady, (1740-1778)
Tune: Celeste

A debtor to mercy alone,
of covenant-mercy I sing;
nor fear, with thy righteousness on,
my person and offering to bring.
The terrors of law and of God
with me can have nothing to do;
my Savior's obedience and blood
hide all my transgressions from view.

The work which his goodness began,
the arm of his strength will complete;
his promise is Yes and Amen
and never was forfeited yet.
Things future, nor things that are now,
nor all things below and above,
can make him his purpose forego
or sever my soul from his love.

My name from the palms of his hands
eternity will not erase;
impressed on his heart it remains
in marks of indelible grace.
Yes, I to the end shall endure
as sure as the earnest is given;
more happy, but not more secure,
the glorified spirits in heaven.

SECOND READING [John 1:19-34]:

This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, 'Who are you?' He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, 'I am not the Messiah.' And they asked him, 'What then? Are you Elijah?' He said, 'I am not.' 'Are you the prophet?' He answered, 'No.' Then they said to him, 'Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?' He said,
'I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness,
“Make straight the way of the Lord” ',
as the prophet Isaiah said. 

Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. They asked him, 'Why then are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?' John answered them, 'I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know, the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal.' This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptizing. 

The next day he saw Jesus coming towards him and declared, 'Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, “After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.” I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel.' And John testified, 'I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, "He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit." And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.'

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

Prayer:
Lord Jesus,
born in pain, struggling towards life, fighting for breath;
born in shame, 
born to the threat of Herod(s sword; 
fleeing to another country, another home;
wrapped in a young girl(s love, placed in a borrowed bed;
We pray for those we know and love;
for all who suffer pain of body or anguish of mind;
for all who struggle to live, to live well, to live better;
for all who burn with shame,
for all who face threat and danger,
We pray to you, O God:
Hear our prayer.

We pray for warravaged countries and refugees;
for the starving poor;
for battered wives and abused children;
for the homeless, for the mentally ill;
for those who struggle with disability.
Strengthen us to work for peace on the earth 
and peace with the earth.
We pray to you, O God:
Hear our prayer.

We pray for the Church,
especially the Diocese of
Keep us faithful that we may bear faithful witness in word and work
to your presence among us.
We pray to you, O God:
Hear our prayer.

We pray for all who are alone.
May our love reach out to the lonely and brokenhearted,
the bereaved, and all for whom life has become something to be endured.
May we open our minds, hearts and homes to those around us.
We pray to you, O God:
Hear our prayer.

And we pray for our own needs:
seeking the grace of your presence,
firming our resolve to behave as we believe;
seeking your courage to reconcile, heal and make new;
seeking a sure vision of your coming kingdom.
We pray to you, O God:
Hear our prayer.

To you we come, O Lord,
the true goal of all human desiring,
beyond all earthly beauty,
gentle protector, strong deliverer;
in the night you are our confidence:
from first light be our joy. Amen.
		
Pour into our hearts, O God, 
the Holy Spirit's gift of love, 
that we. clasping each the other's hand, 
may share the joy of friendship, 
human and divine, 
and with your servant Aelred 
draw many to your community of love; 
through Jesus Christ the Righteous,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Gathering our prayers and praises into one,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

Lift up the light of your countenance on us, O God.,
that we may be faithful to your commandments
and always do what is right and good;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. 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
_Celebrating the Christian Year_ (c) Canterbury Press, Norwich.
The second collect is reprinted by permission from _The Proper for the Lesser Feasts and Fasts_, 3rd Edition, (c) 1980, The Church Pension Fund.

Aelred was born in 1109 at Durham, and was sent to the Scottish court for an education that would ensure his future as a noble and courtier. He succeeded, to the extent of being made Master of the Household of the King of Scotland. Nevertheless, he found success at the court of an earthly king unsatisfying, and at the age of 24 he entered the Cistercian monastery at Rievaulx in orkshire. Bernard of Clairvaux encouraged him to write his first work, The Mirror of Charity, which deals with seeking to follow the example of Christ in all things.
In 1147 he became abbot of Rievaulx, a post which he held until his death of kidney disease twenty years later at the age of 57.
His most famous work is called Spiritual Friendship. When Jesus was told that his family was waiting to see him, he replied, "All who do the will of my Father are my family." From this, some Christians have drawn the conclusion that the only kind of love permissible to a Christian is Charity -- that is: (a) the universal benevolence that wills the good of all persons, and (b) the bond that unites the Christian with Christ and through Christ with all other Christians.
Note that Universal Belevolence is extended equally to all persons (we are to love Jones because God made him), and that the bond of Christian Unity unites us equally with all our fellow Christians who are in a state of grace (we are to love Jones because Christ dwells in him). Neither leaves any room for particular friendships, for liking Jones more than Smith because Jones shares our interest in hockey, or because Jones and we like the same sort of jokes, or come from the same part of the country and have similar childhood memories,
or because Jones is an easy-going type and it is easy to relax and feel comfortable around him, or because Jones and we have a special bond of friendship, loyalty, and trust. Particular friendships are OUT!
Some who do not think that every Christian must renounce particular
friendships believe that every monastic must do so. In many religious houses, where the monks or nuns walk two by two into chapel or the dining hall or while pacing about during the daily hour of recreation, the superior will make a point of constantly shifting partners, lest anyone form a liking for one partner more than another. (This does not apply just to friends. It is sometimes held that no monk ought to allow himself any preferences in food or drink.) Against this view, Aelred wrote that it is compatible with the highest degree of Christian perfection to take special pleasure in the company of particular
friends. He point out that we are told that Jesus loved John, and Mary, and Martha, and Lazarus, and that this probably means that he found their company congenial.



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