OREMUS: 28 January 2012

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Fri Jan 27 17:00:00 GMT 2012

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OREMUS for January 28
Thomas Aquinas, Priest, Philosopher, Teacher of the Faith, 1274

Thomas Aquinas has been described as the greatest thinker and teacher of the mediæval church. Born at Rocca Secca, near Aquino, in Italy, Thomas was educated first by the Benedictines at Monte Cassino and then at the University of Naples. Against his family's wishes, he joined the mendicant Dominican Order of Preachers. His profound, theological wisdom and capacity to impart this, as well in homilies as in hymns, along with his gentleness of spirit in dealing with all, earned him the title "the angelic doctor". He died on 7 March 1274, en route to the Council of Lyons, and his feast has been celebrated on this day since 1970.

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

All of us, with unveiled faces,
seeing the glory of the Lord
as though reflected in a mirror,
are being transformed into the same image
from one degree of glory to another.
Let us worship God.

Blessed are you, O creator past all telling,
you have appointed
from the treasures of your wisdom
the hierarchies of angels,
disposing them in wondrous order 
above the bright heavens,
and have so beautifully set out
all parts of the universe. 
You we call the true fount of wisdom
and the noble origin of all things.
You shed the twofold beam
of your light and warmth
to dispel ignorance and sin. 
You make eloquent the tongues of children
and instruct our speech
and touch our lips with graciousness,
that we may be keen to understand,
quick to learn, able to remember;
delicate to interpret and ready to speak. 
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. 
Psalm 132

Lord, remember David*
 and all the hardships he endured; 
How he swore an oath to the Lord*
 and vowed a vow
 to the Mighty One of Jacob: 
'I will not come
under the roof of my house,*
 nor climb up into my bed; 
'I will not allow my eyes to sleep,*
 nor let my eyelids slumber; 
'Until I find a place for the Lord,*
 a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob.' 
'The Ark! We heard it was in Ephratha;*
   we found it in the fields of Jearim. 
'Let us go to God's dwelling place;*
 let us fall upon our knees
 before his footstool.' 
Arise, O Lord, into your resting-place,*
 you and the ark of your strength. 
Let your priests
be clothed with righteousness;*
 let your faithful people sing with joy. 
For your servant David's sake,*
 do not turn away the face of your anointed. 
The Lord has sworn an oath to David;*
 in truth, he will not break it: 
'A son, the fruit of your body*
 will I set upon your throne. 
'If your children keep my covenant
and my testimonies that I shall teach them,*
 their children will sit
 upon your throne for evermore.' 
For the Lord has chosen Zion,*
 he has desired her for his habitation: 
'This shall be my resting-place for ever;*
 here will I dwell, for I delight in her. 
'I will surely bless her provisions,*
 and satisfy her poor with bread. 
'I will clothe her priests with salvation,*
 and her faithful people will rejoice and sing. 
'There will I make
the horn of David flourish;*
 I have prepared a lamp for my anointed. 
'As for his enemies,
I will clothe them with shame;*
 but as for him, his crown will shine.' 

Psalm 133

O how good and pleasant it is,*
 when a family lives together in unity!   
It is like fine oil upon the head*
 that runs down upon the beard, 
Upon the beard of Aaron,*
 and runs down upon the collar of his robe. 
It is like the dew of Hermon*
 that falls upon the hills of Zion. 
For there the Lord
has ordained the blessing:*
 life for evermore. 

Psalm 134

Behold now, bless the Lord,
   all you servants of the Lord,*
 you that stand by night
 in the house of the Lord. 
Lift up your hands in the holy place
   and bless the Lord;*
 the Lord who made heaven and earth
   bless you out of Zion. 

Psalm 135

Alleluia! Praise the name of the Lord;*
 give praise, you servants of the Lord, 
You who stand in the house of the Lord,*
 in the courts of the house of our God. 
Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good;*
 sing praises to his name, for it is lovely. 
For the Lord has chosen Jacob for himself*
 and Israel for his own possession. 
For I know that the Lord is great,*
 and that our Lord is above all gods. 
The Lord does whatever pleases him,
in heaven and on earth,*
 in the seas and all the deeps. 
He brings up rain clouds
from the ends of the earth;*
 he sends out lightning with the rain,
 and brings the winds out of his storehouse. 
It was he who struck down
the first-born of Egypt,*
 the first-born both of human and beast.   
He sent signs and wonders
into the midst of you, O Egypt,*
 against Pharaoh and all his servants. 
He overthrew many nations*
 and put mighty kings to death: 
Sihon, king of the Amorites,
and Og, the king of Bashan,*
 and all the kingdoms of Canaan. 
He gave their land to be an inheritance,*
 an inheritance for Israel his people. 
O Lord, your name is everlasting;*
 your renown, O Lord, 
 endures from age to age. 
For the Lord gives his people justice*
 and shows compassion to his servants. 
The idols of the heathen
are silver and gold,*
 the work of human hands. 
They have mouths, but they cannot speak;*
 eyes have they, but they cannot see. 
They have ears, but they cannot hear;*
 neither is there any breath in their mouth. 
Those who make them are like them,*
 and so are all who put their trust in them. 
Bless the Lord, O house of Israel;*
 O house of Aaron, bless the Lord. 
Bless the Lord, O house of Levi;*
 you who fear the Lord, bless the Lord. 
Blessèd be the Lord out of Zion,*
 who dwells in Jerusalem. Alleluia! 

FIRST READING [1 Samuel 3:1-20]:

Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord under Eli. The word of the Lord was rare in those days; visions were not widespread. 

At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his room; the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was. Then the Lord called, 'Samuel! Samuel!' and he said, 'Here I am!' and ran to Eli, and said, 'Here I am, for you called me.' But he said, 'I did not call; lie down again.' So he went and lay down. The Lord called again, 'Samuel!' Samuel got up and went to Eli, and said, 'Here I am, for you called me.' But he said, 'I did not call, my son; lie down again.' Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. The Lord called Samuel again, a third time. And he got up and went to Eli, and said, 'Here I am, for you called me.' Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the boy. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, 'Go, lie down; and if he calls you, you shall say, "Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening." ' So Samuel went and lay down in his place. 

Now the Lord came and stood there, calling as before, 'Samuel! Samuel!' And Samuel said, 'Speak, for your servant is listening.' Then the Lord said to Samuel, 'See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make both ears of anyone who hears of it tingle. On that day I will fulfil against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. For I have told him that I am about to punish his house for ever, for the iniquity that he knew, because his sons were blaspheming God, and he did not restrain them. Therefore I swear to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be expiated by sacrifice or offering for ever.' 

Samuel lay there until morning; then he opened the doors of the house of the Lord. Samuel was afraid to tell the vision to Eli. But Eli called Samuel and said, 'Samuel, my son.' He said, 'Here I am.' Eli said, 'What was it that he told you? Do not hide it from me. May God do so to you and more also, if you hide anything from me of all that he told you.' So Samuel told him everything and hid nothing from him. Then he said, 'It is the Lord; let him do what seems good to him.' 

As Samuel grew up, the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beer-sheba knew that Samuel was a trustworthy prophet of the Lord. 

Words: Thomas Aquinas (1227-1274); tr Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)
Tune: Adoro te devote

Godhead here in hiding,
whom I do adore,
masked by these bare shadows,
shape and nothing more,
see, Lord, at thy service
low lies here a heart
lost, all lost in wonder
at the God thou art.

Seeing, touching, tasting
are in thee deceived;
how says trusty hearing?
that shall be believed:
what God's Son has told me,
take for truth I do;
Truth himself speaks truly
or there's nothing true.

On the cross thy godhead
made no sign to men;
here thy very manhood
steals from human ken:
both are my confession,
both are my belief,
and I pray the prayer
of the dying thief.

I am not like Thomas,
wounds I cannot see,
but can plainly call thee
Lord and God as he:
this faith each day deeper
be my holding of,
daily make me harder
hope and dearer love.

O thou our reminder
of Christ crucified,
Living Bread the life of
us for whom he died,
lend this life to me then:
feed and feast my mind,
there be thou the sweetness
man was meant to find.

Jesu, whom I look at
shrouded here below,
I beseech thee send me
what I thirst for so,
some day to gaze on thee
face to face in light
and be blest for ever
with thy glory's sight.

SECOND READING [1 Corinthians 14:12-20]:

So with yourselves; since you are eager for spiritual gifts, strive to excel in them for building up the church.

Therefore, one who speaks in a tongue should pray for the power to interpret. For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unproductive. What should I do then? I will pray with the spirit, but I will pray with the mind also; I will sing praise with the spirit, but I will sing praise with the mind also. Otherwise, if you say a blessing with the spirit, how can anyone in the position of an outsider say the 'Amen' to your thanksgiving, since the outsider does not know what you are saying? For you may give thanks well enough, but the other person is not built up. I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you; nevertheless, in church I would rather speak five words with my mind, in order to instruct others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue. 

Brothers and sisters, do not be children in your thinking; rather, be infants in evil, but in thinking be adults. 

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

Faithful God, Lord of all,
we offer our prayers to you
for a world in need.

Lord of the Church,
we pray for your people throughout the world.
Give unity in the Spirit
that we may be one
in the witness of saving love
and glorify you with one mind and mouth.
Faithful God,
hear our prayer.

Head of the Body,
give us wisdom
to follow your commandments,
to live peacefully and do justly,
and to walk humbly with you.
Faithful God,
hear our prayer.

Creator and ruler of the universe,
give to all who exercise authority
wisdom and virtue to govern justly
and bring peace across the land.
Faithful God,
hear our prayer.

Source of all compassion,
give to all who suffer
the light of your presence
and the caring of your people,
to bring calm and comfort.
Faithful God,
hear our prayer.

Giver of good to all,
take from us any evil thought or will
that we may forgive those
who offend us or seek our harm
as you have forgiven us.
Faithful God,
hear our prayer.

O merciful God,
grant that we may ardently desire,
carefully examine,
truly know and perfectly fulfill
those things that are pleasing to you
and to the praise and glory of your holy name;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Eternal God,
who enriched your Church
with the learning and holiness
of your servant Thomas Aquinas:
give to all who seek you
a humble mind and a pure heart
that they may know your Son Jesus Christ
as the Way, the Truth and the Life;
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

Bestow upon us,
O Lord my God,
understanding to know you,
diligence to seek you,
wisdom to find you,
and faithfulness that may finally embrace you. Amen.</strong.

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 from a prayer in _Chalice Worship_, (c) Chalice Press, 1997. Reproduced with permission. The closing sentence is from _Uniting in Worship_, The Uniting Church in Australia.

The biography is from Exciting Holiness © European Province of the Society of Saint Francis, 1997. The opening sentence is 2 Corinthians 3:18. The opening prayer of thanksgiving, first collect, and closing sentence are by Thomas Aquinas. The second 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.

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