OREMUS: 11 July 2011

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Sun Jul 10 17:00:01 GMT 2011


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OREMUS for July 11
Benedict of Nursia, Abbot of Monte Cassino, c.550

O Lord, open our lips.
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Blessed are you, almighty and everlasting God,
for your servant Benedict,
the father of a great multitude of the just
and an outstanding teacher of love
for you and for our neighbor:
We thank you for the many gifts of the Holy Spirit,
which have led Benedict and other great teachers
to lead men and women to walk the path of salvation
under the guidance of Christ and the Gospel.
For this we revere you,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
Blessed be God for ever!

An opening canticle may be sung. 

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Psalm 56

Have mercy on me, O God,
   for my enemies are hounding me;*
 all day long they assault and oppress me.
They hound me all the day long;*
 truly there are many who fight against me, O Most High.
Whenever I am afraid,*
 I will put my trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise,
   in God I trust and will not be afraid,*
 for what can flesh do to me?
All day long they damage my cause;*
 their only thought is to do me evil.
They band together; they lie in wait;*
 they spy upon my footsteps; because they seek my life.
Shall they escape despite their wickedness?*
 O God, in your anger, cast down the peoples.
You have noted my lamentation;
   put my tears into your bottle;*
 are they not recorded in your book?
Whenever I call upon you,
   my enemies will be put to flight;*
 this I know, for God is on my side.
In God the Lord, whose word I praise,
   in God I trust and will not be afraid,*
 for what can mortals do to me?
I am bound by the vow I made to you, O God;*
 I will present to you thankofferings;
For you have rescued my soul from death
   and my feet from stumbling,*
 that I may walk before God in the light of the living.

Psalm 57

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful,
   for I have taken refuge in you;*
 in the shadow of your wings will I take refuge
   until this time of trouble has gone by.
I will call upon the Most High God,*
 the God who maintains my cause.
He will send from heaven and save me;
   he will confound those who trample upon me;*
 God will send forth his love and his faithfulness.
I lie in the midst of lions that devour the people;*
 their teeth are spears and arrows,
   their tongue a sharp sword.
They have laid a net for my feet and I am bowed low;*
 they have dug a pit before me
   but have fallen into it themselves.
Exalt yourself above the heavens, O God,*
 and your glory over all the earth.
My heart is firmly fixed, O God, my heart is fixed;*
 I will sing and make melody.
Wake up, my spirit; awake, lute and harp;*
 I myself will waken the dawn.
I will confess you among the peoples, O Lord;*
 I will sing praise to you among the nations.
For your lovingkindness is greater than the heavens,*
 and your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
Exalt yourself above the heavens, O God,*
 and your glory over all the earth.

Psalm 58
Do you indeed decree righteousness, you rulers?*
 do you judge the peoples with equity?
No; you devise evil in your hearts,*
 and your hands deal out violence in the land.
The wicked are perverse from the womb;*
 liars go astray from their birth.
They are as venomous as a serpent,*
 they are like the deaf adder which stops its ears,
Which does not heed the voice of the charmer,*
 no matter how skilful his charming.
O God, break their teeth in their mouths;*
 pull the fangs of the young lions, O Lord.
Let them vanish like water that runs off;*
 let them wither like trodden grass.
Let them be like the snail that melts away,*
 like a stillborn child that never sees the sun.
Before they bear fruit, let them be cut down like a brier;*
 like thorns and thistles let them be swept away.
The righteous will be glad when they see the vengeance;*
 they will bathe their feet in the blood of the wicked.
And they will say,
   'Surely, there is a reward for the righteous;*
 surely, there is a God who rules in the earth.'

FIRST READING [Jeremiah 39]:

In the ninth year of King Zedekiah of Judah, in the tenth month, King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon and all his army came against Jerusalem and besieged it; in the eleventh year of Zedekiah, in the fourth month, on the ninth day of the month, a breach was made in the city. When Jerusalem was taken, all the officials of the king of Babylon came and sat in the middle gate: Nergal-sharezer, Samgar-nebo, Sarsechim the Rabsaris, Nergal-sharezer the Rabmag, with all the rest of the officials of the king of Babylon. When King Zedekiah of Judah and all the soldiers saw them, they fled, going out of the city at night by way of the king's garden through the gate between the two walls; and they went towards the Arabah. But the army of the Chaldeans pursued them, and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho; and when they had taken him, they brought him up to King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon, at Riblah, in the land of Hamath; and he passed sentence on him. The king of Babylon slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah at Riblah before his eyes; also the king of Babylon slaughtered all the nobles of Judah. He put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him in fetters to take him to Babylon. The Chaldeans burned the king's house and the houses of the people, and broke down the walls of Jerusalem. Then Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard exiled to Babylon the rest of the people who were left in the city, those who had deserted to him, and the people who remained. Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard left in the land of Judah some of the poor people who owned nothing, and gave them vineyards and fields at the same time. 

King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon gave command concerning Jeremiah through Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, saying, 'Take him, look after him well and do him no harm, but deal with him as he may ask you.' So Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard, Nebushazban the Rabsaris, Nergal-sharezer the Rabmag, and all the chief officers of the king of Babylon sent and took Jeremiah from the court of the guard. They entrusted him to Gedaliah son of Ahikam son of Shaphan to be brought home. So he stayed with his own people. 

The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah while he was confined in the court of the guard: Go and say to Ebed-melech the Ethiopian: Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: I am going to fulfil my words against this city for evil and not for good, and they shall be accomplished in your presence on that day. But I will save you on that day, says the Lord, and you shall not be handed over to those whom you dread. For I will surely save you, and you shall not fall by the sword; but you shall have your life as a prize of war, because yo

HYMN 
Words: © 1974, 1995 Stanbrook Abbey
Tune: Solemnis haec festivitas

Our blessed father, Benedict,
Sure guide in dark and troubled days,
Has shown his countless children here
The paths of peace, the Lord's own ways.

He dwelt in heaven while on earth,
True man of God and man of prayer;
For him the love of Christ was all
And God was present everywhere.

He left all things that bind the heart,
In poverty to find release;
Unmoved among the things that change,
He sought and found a lasting peace.

He died among his many sons
While lifting up his hands to pray.
In glory clothed, he lives again
As we rejoice with him today.

Now Benedict, with monks and nuns
Around him, like a crown of gold,
Gives praise to you, blest Trinity,
In splendid light and time untold.

SECOND READING [2 Corinthians 10]:

I myself, Paul, appeal to you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—I who am humble when face to face with you, but bold towards you when I am away!— I ask that when I am present I need not show boldness by daring to oppose those who think we are acting according to human standards. Indeed, we live as human beings, but we do not wage war according to human standards; for the weapons of our warfare are not merely human, but they have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every proud obstacle raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to obey Christ. We are ready to punish every disobedience when your obedience is complete. 

Look at what is before your eyes. If you are confident that you belong to Christ, remind yourself of this, that just as you belong to Christ, so also do we. Now, even if I boast a little too much of our authority, which the Lord gave for building you up and not for tearing you down, I will not be ashamed of it. I do not want to seem as though I am trying to frighten you with my letters. For they say, 'His letters are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.' Let such people understand that what we say by letter when absent, we will also do when present. 

We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another, and compare themselves with one another, they do not show good sense. We, however, will not boast beyond limits, but will keep within the field that God has assigned to us, to reach out even as far as you. For we were not overstepping our limits when we reached you; we were the first to come all the way to you with the good news of Christ. We do not boast beyond limits, that is, in the labours of others; but our hope is that, as your faith increases, our sphere of action among you may be greatly enlarged, so that we may proclaim the good news in lands beyond you, without boasting of work already done in someone else's sphere of action. 'Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.' For it is not those who commend themselves that are approved, but those whom the Lord commends. 

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

Prayer:
We pray for the use of God's gifts to his Church, saying
Jesus, Lord of your Church:
in your mercy, hear us

God our Father,
you give us gifts that we may work together
in the service of your Son:
Bless those who lead,
that they may be firm in faith, 
yet humble before you.
We pray especially for the Order of Saint Benedict and 
all those who follow Benedict's wisdom in their daily lives.
Jesus, Lord of your Church:
in your mercy hear us.

Bless those who teach,
that they may increase our understanding,    
and be open to your word for them:
Jesus, Lord of your Church:
in your mercy hear us. 

Bless those who minister healing,
that they may bring wholeness to other, 
yet know your healing in themselves:
Jesus, Lord of your Church:
in your mercy hear us. 

Bless those through whom you speak,
that they may proclaim your word in power,
yet have their ears open to your gentle whisper:
Jesus, Lord of your Church:
in your mercy hear us. 

Bless those who work in your world today
that they may live for you, fulfil your purposes,
and seek your kingdom first
in the complexity of their daily lives.
Jesus, Lord of your Church:
in your mercy hear us. 

Bless those who feel they have no gifts and are not valued,
and those who are powerless by the world's standards,
that they may share their experience
of the work of your Spirit.
Jesus, Lord of your Church:
in your mercy hear us. 

Eternal God, 
who made Benedict to become a wise master 
in the school of your service
and a guide to many called into community
to follow the rule of Christ: 
grant that we may put your love before all else
and seek with joy the way of your commandments; 
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of 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

You have opened to us the Scriptures, O Christ.
Abide with us, we pray,
that, blessed by your royal presence,
we may walk with you
all the days of our life,
and at its end behold you
in the glory of the eternal Trinity,
one God for ever and ever. 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 adapted by Stephen Benner from
_We Give You Thanks and Praise: The Ambrosian Eucharistic
Prefaces_, translated by Alan Griffiths, (c) The Canterbury Press
Norwich, 1999.

The intercession is adapted by Stephen Benner from a prayer in
_Patterns for Worship_, material from which is included in this
service is copyright (c) The Archbishops' Council, 1995.

The collect is 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 closing prayer uses a sentence from a prayer in _Opening Prayers:
Collects in Contemporary Language_. Canterbury Press, Norwich, 1999.

Benedict was born in Nursia, central Italy, around the year 480. As a young man he was sent to study in Rome, but was soon appalled by the corruption in society and withdrew to live as a hermit at Subiaco. He quickly attracted disciples and began to establish small monasteries in the neighbourhood. Around the year 525, a disaffected faction tried to poison him so Benedict moved to Monte Cassino with a band of loyal monks. Later in life Benedict wrote his Rule for Monks, based on his own experience of fallible people striving to live out the gospel. He never intended to found an 'order' but his Rule was so good that it was disseminated and widely followed, becoming the model for all western monasticism. Benedict died at Monte Cassino in about the year 550. [Exciting Holiness]


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