Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Advent

Prope est jam Dominus; venite, adoremus. The Lord is now nigh; come, let us adore.
De Isaia Propheta. From the Prophet Isaias.
Cap. li. Ch. li.

Audite me, qui sequimini quod justum est, et quaeritis Dominum; attendite ad petram unde excisi estis, et ad cavernam laci de qua praecisi estis. Attendite ad Abraham, patrem vestrum, et ad Saram, quae peperit vos; quia unum vocavi eum, et benedixi ei, et multiplicavi eum. Consolabitur ergo Dominus Sion, et consolabitur omnes ruinas ejus; et ponet desertum ejus quasi delicias, et solitudinem ejus quasi hortum Domini. Gaudium et laetitia invenietur in ea, gratiarum actio et vox laudis. Attendite ad me, popule meus, et, tribus mea, me audite: quia lex a me exiet, et judicium meum in lucem populorum requiescet. Prope est justus meus, egressus est salvator meus, et brachia mea populos judicabunt; me insulae exspectabunt, et brachium meum sustinebunt. Levate in caelum oculos vestros, et videte sub terra deorsum; quia caeli sicut fumus liquescent, et terra sicut vestimentum atteretur, et habitatores ejus sicut haec interibunt, salus autem mea in sempiternum erit, et justitia mea non deficiet.

Give ear to me, you that follow that which is just, and you that seek the Lord: look unto the rock whence you are hewn, and to the hole of the pit from which you are dug out. Look unto Abraham your father, and to Sara that bore you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and multiplied him. The Lord therefore will comfort Sion, and will comfort all the ruins thereof: and he will make her desert as a place of pleasure, and her wilderness as the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of praise. Hearken unto me, O my people, and give ear to me, O my tribes: for a law shall go forth from me, and my judgment shall rest to be a light of the nations. My just one is near at hand, my saviour is gone forth, and my arms shall judge the people: the islands shall look for me, and shall patiently wait for my arm. Lift up your eyes to heaven, and look down to the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish like smoke, and the earth shall be worn away like a garment, and the inhabitants thereof shall perish in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my justice shall not fail.

O Jesus, thou Flower of the Field, thou Lily of the Valley, thy visit is to change our barren parched earth into a garden of delights! We had lost Eden and all its lovely magnificence, by our sins; and lo! Eden is restored to us; thou art coming, that thou mayest set it in our hearts. O heavenly plant! tree of life, transplanted from heaven to earth, thou first takest root in Mary, that faithful soil; and thence thou wilt come to us, and we must be to thee a grateful land, cherishing the divine seed and making it fructify. Let it be so, O divine Husbandman! who didst appear to Magdalene under the form of a gardener. Thou knowest how far are our hearts from being ready for thy working in them. Move, and break, and water this land; the season is now come; our hearts long to be fertile, and to have growing within them that exquisite Flower which makes the beauty of all heaven, and comes down to hide its splendor for a time here below. O Jesus! let these souls of ours be fertile; let them be crowned with the flowers of virtue; let themselves become flowers growing around thee, O divine Flower, and forming to the heavenly Father a garden, which he may unite with that which he formed from all eternity. O Flower of heaven, Jesus! thou art also the Dew, refresh us; thou art the Sun, warm us; thou art the fragrant Perfume, impart to us thy sweetness; thou art the sovereign Beauty, give us of thy fair and ruddy bloom, and make us cluster round thee in eternity, as the crown thou didst wreathe to thyself.

Hymn of Preparation for Christmas
(Composed by St. Ambrose. It is in the Ambrosian Breviary for first Vespers of Christmas, and in the ancient Roman-French Breviaries)

Veni, Redemptor gentium,Ostende partum Virginis;
Miretur omne sæculum,
Talis decet partus Deum.

Come, O Redeemer of mankind! reveal to us the Virgin’s delivery: let all ages be in admiration: for what other birth would have been worthy of God?

Non ex virili semine,
Sed mystico spiramine,
Verbum Dei factus est caro
Fructusque ventris floruit.

Not of man, but of the Holy Ghost, was the Word of God made flesh, and the fruit of the womb ripened.

Alvus tumescit Virginis,
Claustra pudoris permanent,
Vexilla virtutum micant,
Versatur in templo Deus.

The Virgin has become Mother, and yet the Mother is still a Virgin. It is the banner of omnipotence which here shines; God is come into his temple.

Procedit e thalamo suo,
Pudoris aula regia,
Geminæ gigas substantiæ,
Alacris ut currat viam.

He comes forth from the royal palace of virginity, as from his bride-chamber, that he may exultingly runt eh way, as a Giant, who is both God and Man.

Egressus ejus a Patre,
Regressus ejus ad Patrem;
Excursus usque ad inferos,

He comes forth from the Father; he returns to the Father: he descends into hell; he ascends to the throne of God.

Æqualis æterno Patri,
Carnis trophæo cingere;
Infirma nostri corporis
Virtute firmans perpeti.

Co-equal Son of the eternal Father, gird thee with the trophy of the flesh; strengthening the weaknesses of our flesh by thy unfailing power.

Præsepe jam fulget tuum,
Lumenque nox spirat novum,
Quod nulla nox interpolet,
Fideque jugi luceat.

Thy crib is already resplendent, and the night breathes forth a new light, the light of faith; let no night interrupt it, let its brightness be incessant.

Gloria tibi, Domine,
Qui natus es de Virgine,
Cum Patre et Sancto Spiritu,
In sempiterna sæcula.

Glory be to thee, O Lord, who wast born of the Virgin! and to the Father and the Holy Ghost, for everlasting ages.

Amen.

Amen.

Prayer From the Mozarabic Missal
(Second Sunday of Advent)

Domine Deus omnipotens, qui pro humani generis redemptione coæternum tibi coæqualemque Filium Angeli annuntiatione per Mariæ Virginis uterum usque ad nos voluisti transmittere; da nobis hoc tempore Adventus tui Unigeniti eamdem pacis gratiam, quam in præterita largire dignatus es sæcula, et illi nos in occursum fidei socios numerandos, quos in fidei primordia a Joanne pœnitentiæ undis aquarum ablutos, a te postremo per Filium in Spiritu Sancto et igni cognoscimus baptizatos.

Lord God omnipotent! who, for the redmption of the human race, didst deign to send even unto us, by the message of an Angel and by the Virgin Mary’s womb, thy co-eternal and co-equal Sonn; grant us, in this time of the Advent of thy Only Son, that same grace of peace which thou hast mercifully bestowed upon the past ages, and number us among those who, at the first beginning of the faith, were acceptable to him by embracing the faith; and who, being washed in the water of penance by John, were afterwards baptized by thee, through thy Son, in the Holy Ghost and fire.

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