Thursday, December 21, 2017

Thursday of the Third Week of Advent

Regem venturum Dominum, venite, adoremus. Come, let us adore the King, our Lord, who is to come.
De Isaia Propheta. From the Prophet Isaias.
Cap. xxxiii. Ch. xxxiii.

Domine, miserere nostri, te enim exspectavimus; esto brachium nostrum in mane, et salus nostra in tempore tribulationis. A voce angeli fugerunt populi, et ab exaltatione tua dispersae sunt gentes. Et congregabuntur spolia vestra sicut colligitur bruchus, velut cum fossae plenae fuerint de eo. Magnificatus est Dominus, quoniam habitavit in excelso; implevit Sion judicio et justitia. Et erit fides in temporibus tuis: divitiae salutis sapientia et scientia; timor Domini ipse est thesaurus ejus. Ecce videntes clamabunt foris; angeli pacis amare flebunt. Dissipatae sunt viae, cessavit transiens per semitam: irritum factum est pactum, projecit civitates, non reputavit homines. Luxit et elanguit terra; confusus est Libanus, et obsorduit: et factus est Saron sicut desertum, et concussa est Basan, et Carmelus. Nunc consurgam, dicit Dominus; nunc exaltabor, nunc sublevabor. Concipietis ardorem, parietis stipulam; spiritus vester ut ignis vorabit vos. Et erunt populi quasi de incendio cinis; spinae congregatae igni comburentur. Audite, qui longe estis, quae fecerim; et cognoscite, vicini, fortitudinem meam. Conterriti sunt in Sion peccatores; possedit tremor hypocritas. Quis poterit habitare de vobis cum igne devorante? quis habitabit ex vobis cum ardoribus sempiternis? Qui ambulat in justitiis et loquitur veritatem, qui projicit avaritiam ex calumnia, et excutit manus suas ab omni munere, qui obturat aures suas ne audiat sanguinem, et claudit oculos suos ne videat malum. Iste in excelsis habitabit; munimenta saxorum sublimitas ejus: panis ei datus est, aquae ejus fideles sunt. Regem in decore suo videbunt oculi ejus, cernent terram de longe.

O Lord, have mercy on us: for we have waited for thee: be thou our arm in the morning, and our salvation in the time of trouble. At the voice of the angel the people fled, and at the lifting up thyself the nations are scattered. And your spoils shall be gathered together as the locusts are gathered, as when the ditches are full of them. The Lord is magnified, for he hath dwelt on high: he hath filled Sion with judgment and justice. That spoilest: This is particularly directed to Sennacherib. And there shall be faith in thy times: riches of salvation, wisdom and knowledge: the fear of the Lord is his treasure. Behold they that see shall cry without, the angels of peace shall weep bitterly. The ways are made desolate, no one passeth by the road, the covenant is made void, he hath rejected the cities, he hath not regarded the men. The land hath mourned, and languished: Libanus is confounded and become foul, and Saron is become as a desert: and Basan and Carmel are shaken. Now will I rise up, saith the Lord: now will I be exalted, now will I lift up myself. The angels of peace: The messengers or deputies sent to negotiate a peace. You shall conceive heat, you shall bring forth stubble: your breath as fire shall devour you. And the people shall be as ashes after a fire, as a bundle of thorns they shall be burnt with fire. Hear, you that are far off, what I have done, and you that are near know my strength. The sinners in Sion are afraid, trembling hath seized upon the hypocrites. Which of you can dwell with devouring fire? which of you shall dwell with everlasting burnings? He that walketh in justices, and speaketh truth, that casteth away avarice by oppression, and shaketh his hands from all bribes, that stoppeth his ears lest he hear blood, and shutteth his eyes that he may see no evil. He shall dwell on high, the fortifications of rocks shall be his highness: bread is given him, his waters are sure. His eyes shall see the king in his beauty, they shall see the land far off.

Happy he whose eyes shall thus contemplate the newborn King in the sweet majesty of his love and his humility! He shall be so taken with this his beauty, that the earth, with all its magnificence, shall appear as nothing in his eyes. The only thing he will care to look upon will be upon Him that shall be laid in a manger, and wrapped in swaddling clothes. But that we may give this happiness of closely contemplating the divine King who is coming to us, that we may merit to enter his court, we must do as the Prophet bids us: we must walk in justice, and speak truth. Let us listen to the pious Rabanus Maurus, who expresses this, with much unction, in his first Sermon on Preparation for the feast of Christmas: “If at all times it behoves us to be adorned with the comeliness of good works, we should be so, with an especial care, on the Day of our Savior’s Birth. Consider within yourselves, my Brethren, what you would do, were a king, or prince, to invite to come to celebrate his Birthday. Your garments would be as new, as elegant, even as magnificent, as you could produce them, for you would think it an insult to him who invited you, were you to appear before him with anything upon you that was torn, or poor, or unclean. Show a like solicitude on the occasion of the coming Feast—and let your souls, beautified with the several ornaments of virtue, go forth to their King. He loves the pearls of simplicity, and the flowers of chaste sobriety: wear them therefore. Let your consciences be composed in a holy calm, now that the solemn feast of Jesus’ Nativity is so close upon us. Assist at it lovely in your chastity, gorgeous in your charity, beauteous by your alms deeds, brilliant with justice and humility and, above all, radiant in the love of God. If the Lord Jesus shall see you thus when you keep his feast, believe me, he will do more than visit your souls; he will treat you with such familiarity that he will choose them for his favorite abode, and there he will dwell forever, as it is written: Behold! I will come, and I will dwell with them; and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.” Christians, you have no time to lose: quickly prepare yourselves for this great visit. Let sinners be converted and become just: let the just become more just; let the holy become more holy, for he that is coming is the Lord our God, and none else.

A Prose for the Time of Advent
(Composed in the 11th century, and taken from the ancient Roman-French Missals)

Jubilemus omnes una, Deo nostro qui creavit omnia;

Let us sing together to our God, who created all things;

Per quem condita sunt sæcula;

By whom all ages were made;

Cœlum quod plurima luce coruscat, et diversa sidera;

The firmament, which shines with much light, and the countless stars;

Sol mundi schema, noctium decus luna, cunctaque splendentia;

The sun, the ornament of the world; the moon, which is the night’s beauty; and all shining things;

Mare, solum, alta, plana, et profunda flumina;

The sea, the land, the hills, the plains, and the deep rivers;

Aeris ampla spatia: quæ discurrunt aves, venti atque pluvia.

The wide space of the air, through which float birds, and winds, and rain;

Hæc simul cuncta tibi soli Deo Patri militant.

All these obey thee alone, O God, as their Maker and King.

Nunc et in ævum, sine fine per sæcula:

Now and evermore, for endless ages:

Laus eorum tua gloria;

Their praise is thy glory;

Qui pro salute nostra Prolem unicam,

Who for our salvation didst send thine Only Begotten Son,

Pati in terra misisti sine culpa, sed ob nostra delicta.

In whom could be no sin, to suffer on earth for our sins.

Te, Sancta Trinitas, precamur, ut corpora nostra et corda regas et protegas, et dones peccatorum veniam. Amen.

We beseech thee, O Holy Trinity, to govern and protect our souls and bodies, and grant us forgiveness of our sins. Amen.

Prayer From the Ambrosian Missal
(Second Sunday of Advent, Præfatio)

Vere dignum et justum est, æquum et salutare, nos tibi semper et ubique gratias agere, Domine sancte, Pater omnipotens, æterne Deus, per Christum Dominum nostrum: cujus Incarnatione salus facta est mundi, et Passione redemptio procurata est hominis procreati. Ipse nos, quæsumus, ad æternum, per ducit præmium, qui redemit nos de tenebris infernorum: justificetque et Adventu secundo, quo nos redemit in primo: quatenus illius nos a malis omnibus defendat sublimitas, cujus nos ad vitam erexit humilitas.

It is truly meet and just, right and available to salvation, that we should always and in all places, give thanks to thee, O holy Lord, almighty Father, eternal God, through Christ our Lord: by whose Incarnation has been brought the salvation of the world, and by whose Passion has been purchased the redemption of his creature man. Grant, we beseech thee, that he, who redeemed us from the dark prison of hell, may lend us to the rewards which are eternal; and justify us in his second Coming, who redeemed us in the first: that thus, he, whose humility exalted us unto life, may by his most high majesty shield us from all evil.

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