Saturday, December 14, 2019

Saturday of the Second 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. xxv. Ch. xxv.

Domine, Deus meus es tu; exaltabo te, et confitebor nomini tuo: quoniam fecisti mirabilia, cogitationes antiquas fideles. Amen. Quia posuisti civitatem in tumulum, urbem fortem in ruinam, domum alienorum: ut non sit civitas, et in sempiternum non ædificetur. Super hoc laudabit te populus fortis; civitas gentium robustarum timebit te: quia factus es fortitudo pauperi, fortitudo egeno in tribulatione sua, spes a turbine, umbraculum ab æstu; spiritus enim robustorum quasi turbo impellens parietem. Sicut aestus in siti, tumultum alienorum humiliabis; et quasi calore sub nube torrente, propaginem fortium marcescere facies. Et faciet Dominus exercituum omnibus populis in monte hoc convivium pinguium, convivium vindemiæ, pinguium medullatorum, vindemiæ defaecatæ. Et præcipitabit in monte isto faciem vinculi colligati super omnes populos, et telam quam orditus est super omnes nationes. Præcipitabit mortem in sempiternum; et auferet Dominus Deus lacrimam ab omni facie, et opprobrium populi sui auferet de universa terra: quia Dominus locutus est. Et dicet in die illa: Ecce Deus noster iste; exspectavimus eum, et salvabit nos; iste Dominus, sustinuimus eum: exsultabimus, et lætabimur in salutari ejus.

O Lord, thou art my God, I will exalt thee, and give glory to thy name: for thou hast done wonderful things, thy designs of old faithful, amen. For thou hast reduced the city to a heap, the strong city to ruin, the house of strangers, to be no city, and to be no more built up for ever. Therefore shall a strong people praise thee, the city of mighty nations shall fear thee. Because thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress: a refuge from the whirlwind, a shadow from the heat. For the blast of the mighty is like a whirlwind beating against a wall. Thou shalt bring down the tumult of strangers, as heat in thirst: and as with heat under a burning cloud, thou shalt make the branch of the mighty to wither away. And the Lord of hosts shall make unto all people in this mountain, a feast of fat things, a feast of wine, of fat things full of marrow, of wine purified from the lees. And he shall destroy in this mountain the face of the bond with which all people were tied, and the web that he began over all nations. He shall cast death down headlong for ever: and the Lord God shall wipe away tears from every face, and the reproach of his people he shall take away from off the whole earth: for the Lord hath spoken it. And they shall say in that day: Lo, this is our God, we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord, we have patiently waited for him, we shall rejoice and be joyful in his salvation.

Yet a little while, and the conqueror of death will appear, and then, in the joy of our hearts, we will say: Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him and he will save us; we have patiently waited for him; this is he, and we will rejoice and be joyful in his salvation. Let us, therefore, prepare the way of the Lord, that we may receive him worthily; and in this work of our preparation, let us have recourse to Mary. Saturday is the day which is sacred to her; she will the more readily grant the prayers said to her upon it. Let us consider her in her grand privilege of being full of grace, carrying in her womb Him whom we so long to possess. If we ask her by what means she rendered herself worthy of such an immense favor, she will tell us that in her was simply fulfilled the prophecy, which the Church so continually repeats during these days of advent: Every valley shall be filled up. The humble Mary was the valley blessed of the Lord; a valley beautiful and fertile, in which God sowed the Divine Wheat, our Savior, Jesus: for it is written in the Psalm that the Valleys shall abound with corn. O Mary! it was thy humility that drew down upon thee the admiration of thy Creator. If, from the high heaven where he dwells, he had perceived a Virgin more humble in her love, he would have chosen her in preference to thee: but no, it was thou that didst win his predilection, O mystic valley, ever verdant and lovely in thy flowers of grace. We that, like high hills, are so proud and such sinners, what shall we do? We must look on this God of ours, who comes to us in infinite humility, and then humble ourselves out of love and gratitude. O Blessed Mother! obtain this grace for us. Pray for us, that henceforth we may submit ourselves to the will of our Lord as thou didst, when thou didst speak those admirable words: Behold the handmaid of the Lord: may it be done to me according to thy word!

Prose in Honor of the Blessed Virgin
(Taken from the Cluny Missal of 1523)

Missus Gabriel de cœlis,
Verbi bajulus fidelis,
Sacris disserit loquelis
Cum beata Virgine.

Gabriel, sent from heaven, faithful bearer of the word, holds sacred converse with the holy Virgin.

Verbum bonum et suave
Pandit intus in conclave,
Et ex Eva format Ave,
Evæ verso nomine.

In the inner chamber he discloses the good and sweet word; and inverting the names of Eve, Eva becomes Ave,—his salutation, Hail!

Consequenter juxta pactum,
Adest Verbum caro factum;
Semper tamen est intactum
Puellare gremium.

The covenant made, and instantly there was present the Word made flesh; and yet the pure Maid a Virgin still for ever.

Patrem pariens ignorat,
Et quam homo non deflorat,
Non torquetur, nec laborat,
Quando parit filium.

Parent like no other; Mother, yet not losing the treasure; giving birth to her child, yet not a pain or travail.

Signum audis novitatis;
Crede solum, et est satis;
Non est nostræ facultatis
Solvere corrigiam.

Unheard-of prodigy! ’tis so indeed, and all thou, my soul, canst do is to believe it: we have not power to loose the latchet.

Grande signum et insigne
Est in rubo et in igne:
Ne appropiet indigne
Calciatus quisquam.

It is the great, the wondrous portent of the burning bush; let him that would approach, take off the sandals from his feet.

Virga sicca sine rore,
Novo ritu novo more,
Fructum protulit cum flore;
Sicque Virgo peperit.

A dry branch, with not one drop of dew, once yielded a flower and fruit; it was a new law, a new way: so was it when the Virgin brought forth her Son.

Benedictus talis fructus,
Fructus gaudii, non luctus;
Non erit Adam seductus,
Si de hoc gustaverit.

What a blessed Fruit! a Fruit of joy, not of woe. There will be no Adam deceived, if men but eat of this.

Jesus noster, Jesus bonus,
Piæ Matris pium onus,
Cujus est in cœlo thronus
Nascitur in stabulo.

He is our Jesus! the good Jesus! lovely burden of a lovely Mother! He who has a throne in heaven, has a stable for his birth-place!

Qui sic est pro nobis natus
Nostros deleat reatus;
Quia noster incolatus
Hic est in periculo.

May he, that for our sakes was thus born, wipe away all our gilt; for our sojourn here is full of dangers.



Prayer From the Mozarabic Breviary
(For the Friday of the third Week of Advent)

Quis poterit, Deus Dei Filius, scrutari vias tuas? Vel quibus aditibus nasciturus ad Virginem veneris? Vel quibus semitis ad superna regressus es? Et ideo, quia tu solus cuncta conderans es, cujus nomen supra terræ terminos permanet; da nobis, illa de te semper considerare et dicere, quæ culpæ careant lege: ut, qui excelsus in fortitudine veniens humilia respicis, dignos facias nos muneribus tuis. Amen.

Who, O God thou Son of God, who can search into thy ways? and tell how thou wast born of a Virgin, when thou camest from heaven, or by what paths thou didst return thither? And therefore since thou alone knowest all things, thou whose name is beyond the ends of the earth; grant us so to think and speak of thee, as to be guiltless of error: that so thou, who, high in power, dost come down to lowly things and love them, mayest make us worthy of thy gifts. Amen.


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