OREMUS: 10 February 2011

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Wed Feb 9 17:00:00 GMT 2011


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

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

Blessed are you, God of life,
you nurture and sustain your people. 
You bless us with abundance; 
you gift us with your graciousness; 
you know our every need. 
In the birthing forth of creation 
you call us into being. 
You gift us with healthy and wholeness; 
you sustain our every endeavor. 
You feed your hungering people. 
You call us to work for justice, 
to share our table with all creation, 
to feed the needy at our door,  
to see nobody left in need. 
We give you thanks and praise you: 
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 [1 Maccabees 2:1-28]:

In those days Mattathias son of John son of Simeon, a priest of the family of Joarib, moved from Jerusalem and settled in Modein. He had five sons, John surnamed Gaddi, Simon called Thassi, Judas called Maccabeus, Eleazar called Avaran, and Jonathan called Apphus. He saw the blasphemies being committed in Judah and Jerusalem, and said,
'Alas! Why was I born to see this,
   the ruin of my people, the ruin of the holy city,
and to live there when it was given over to the enemy,
   the sanctuary given over to aliens? 
Her temple has become like a person without honour; 
   her glorious vessels have been carried into exile.
Her infants have been killed in her streets,
   her youths by the sword of the foe. 
What nation has not inherited her palaces
   and has not seized her spoils? 
All her adornment has been taken away;
   no longer free, she has become a slave. 
And see, our holy place, our beauty,
   and our glory have been laid waste;
the Gentiles have profaned them. 
   Why should we live any longer?' 

Then Mattathias and his sons tore their clothes, put on sackcloth, and mourned greatly. 

The king's officers who were enforcing the apostasy came to the town of Modein to make them offer sacrifice. Many from Israel came to them; and Mattathias and his sons were assembled. Then the king's officers spoke to Mattathias as follows: 'You are a leader, honoured and great in this town, and supported by sons and brothers. Now be the first to come and do what the king commands, as all the Gentiles and the people of Judah and those that are left in Jerusalem have done. Then you and your sons will be numbered among the Friends of the king, and you and your sons will be honoured with silver and gold and many gifts.' 

But Mattathias answered and said in a loud voice: 'Even if all the nations that live under the rule of the king obey him, and have chosen to obey his commandments, everyone of them abandoning the religion of their ancestors, I and my sons and my brothers will continue to live by the covenant of our ancestors. Far be it from us to desert the law and the ordinances. We will not obey the king's words by turning aside from our religion to the right hand or to the left.' 

When he had finished speaking these words, a Jew came forward in the sight of all to offer sacrifice on the altar in Modein, according to the king's command. When Mattathias saw it, he burned with zeal and his heart was stirred. He gave vent to righteous anger; he ran and killed him on the altar. At the same time he killed the king's officer who was forcing them to sacrifice, and he tore down the altar. Thus he burned with zeal for the law, just as Phinehas did against Zimri son of Salu. 

Then Mattathias cried out in the town with a loud voice, saying: 'Let everyone who is zealous for the law and supports the covenant come out with me!' Then he and his sons fled to the hills and left all that they had in the town. 

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 [John 3:22—4:6]:

After this Jesus and his disciples went into the Judean countryside, and he spent some time there with them and baptized. John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim because water was abundant there; and people kept coming and were being baptized— John, of course, had not yet been thrown into prison. 

Now a discussion about purification arose between John's disciples and a Jew. They came to John and said to him, 'Rabbi, the one who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you testified, here he is baptizing, and all are going to him.' John answered, 'No one can receive anything except what has been given from heaven. You yourselves are my witnesses that I said, "I am not the Messiah, but I have been sent ahead of him." He who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom's voice. For this reason my joy has been fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease.' 

The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks about earthly things. The one who comes from heaven is above all. He testifies to what he has seen and heard, yet no one accepts his testimony. Whoever has accepted his testimony has certified this, that God is true. He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. The Father loves the Son and has placed all things in his hands. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but must endure God's wrath. 

Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard, 'Jesus is making and baptizing more disciples than John'— although it was not Jesus himself but his disciples who baptized— he left Judea and started back to Galilee. But he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon. 

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

May the creative Spirit activate in our hearts
a hunger for that justice
that will guarantee sustenance for every human being. 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 based on a Eucharistic prayer found on www.diarmuid13.com

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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