Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Tuesday 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. xlii. Ch. xlii.

Ecce servus meus, suscipiam eum; electus meus, complacuit sibi in illo anima mea: dedi spiritum meum super eum, judicium gentibus proferet. Non clamabit, neque accipiet personam; nec audietur vox ejus foris. Calamum quassatum non conteret, et linum fumigans non extinguet; in veritate educet judicium. Non erit tristis, neque turbulentus, donec ponat in terra judicium; et legem ejus insulae exspectabunt. Hæc dicit Dominus Deus, creans cælos, et extendens eos; formans terram, et quæ germinant ex ea, dans flatum populo qui est super eam, et spiritum calcantibus eam. Ego Dominus vocavi te in justitia, et apprehendi manum tuam, et servavi te; et dedi te in fœdus populi, in lucem gentium, ut aperires oculos caecorum, et educeres de conclusione vinctum, de domo carceris sedentes in tenebris.

Behold my servant, I will uphold him: my elect, my soul delighteth in him: I have given my spirit upon him, he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not cry, nor have respect to person, neither shall his voice be heard abroad. The bruised reed he shall not break, and smoking flax he shall not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. He shall not be sad, nor troublesome, till he set judgment in the earth: and the islands shall wait for his law. Thus saith the Lord God that created the heavens, and stretched them out: that established the earth, and the things that spring out of it: that giveth breath to the people upon it, and spirit to them that tread thereon. My servant: Christ, who according to his humanity, is the servant of God. I the Lord have called thee in justice, and taken thee by the hand, and preserved thee. And I have given thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles: That thou mightest open the eyes of the blind, and bring forth the prisoner out of prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.

How sweet and peaceful is thy entrance into this world, O Jesus! Thy voice is not heard giving its commands; and thy hands, the hands of a yet unborn babe, seem too weak to break the reed, so frail that a breath would break it. What is it thou art come to do in this first Coming? Thy heavenly Father tells it us by the Prophet. Thou art coming that thou mayest be the pledge of a covenant between heaven and earth. O divine Infant! Son of God, and yet Son of man, blessed be thy Coming among us! Thy crib will be the Ark which will save us; and when thou walkest on our earth, it will be to give us light, and set us free from our prison-house of darkness. It is just, therefore, that we should rise and meet thee on thy approach, seeing that thou hast come all this way to us. “If the sick man cannot go out some distance to meet so great a Physician,” says St. Bernard, “let him at least make an effort to raise his head and turn towards him as he enters. It is not required of thee, O man! to pass the seas, or ascend the clouds, or cross the Alps. The way that is shown unto thee is not a long one; go as far as thy own self, and there meet thy god: for the word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart. Meet him at least at thy heart’s compunction, and thy mouth’s confession, that thou mayest at least go out of the filth of thy guilty conscience, for into that thou surely never wouldst make the author of purity enter!” Glory, then, be to thee, O Jesus, for sparing the broken reed, that so it may regain its verdure and strength on the banks of the stream, of which thou art the source! Glory be to thee for having checked the breath of thy almighty justice, and so cherishing the last spark left in the smoking flax, that it might burn up again, and give light at the Bridegroom’s feast.

Hymn In Honor of the Blessed Virgin
(Composed by St. Peter Damian)

Terrena cuncta jubilent,
Astra laudibus intonent,
Virginis ante thalamum,
Laudes alternent dramatum.

May all earth and heaven be glad and resound with the praises which, in this double choir, are sung to the maternity of the virgin.

Hæc Virgo Verbo gravida,
Fit paradisi Janua;
Quæ Deum mundo reddidit,
Cœlum nobis aperuit.

Yea, this Virgin, Mother of the Word, is made the Gate of heaven; she gave God to the world, and, by this, opened heaven to us.

Felix ista Puerpera,
Evæ lege liberrima,
Concepit sine masculo,
Peperit absque genitu.

This happy Mother of Jesus conceived him without humiliation, and bore him without a moan; such a Mother could not be under the law put on Eve.

Dives Mariæ gremium!
Mundi gestavit pretium,
Quo gloriamur redimi
Soluti jugo debiti.

O that rich treasury of Mary’s womb! it held the price which purchased our redemption, setting us free from the yoke of our debt. O happy we!

Quam Patris implet Filius,
Sanctus obumbrat Spiritus
Cœlum fiunt castissima
Sacræ puellæ viscera.

The Son of the Eternal Father dwelt within her; the Holy Ghost overshadowed her; what is such a Virgin’s womb but a new-made Heaven?

Sit tibi laus, Altissime,
Qui natus es ex Virgine;
Sit honor ineffabilis
Patri, Sanctoque Flamini.

To thee, Most High, who was born of the Virgin, be praise! Honor ineffable be to the Father, and to the Holy Spirit.



Prayer From the Gallican Sacramentary
(In Adventu Domini, Oratio post Prophetiam)

Opifex lucis alme, plebis visitator immeritæ, qui illa prophetalium vaticiniorum oracula, quæ sæculis fuerunt nuntiata, beati Joannis ore exples, opere perficis, professione peragis; concede plebi supplici tibi sine formidine famulari; ut per viscera misericordiæ repleti scientia, veritate dirigi mereamur.

Benign Creator of the light, visiting an unworthy people! the oracles of the prophetic predictions, which were announced in the past ages, thou didst fulfil by the mouth of John, thou didst perfect by his works, thou didst accomplish by his mission. Grant to thy people, making supplication to thee, to serve thee without fear; that, through the bowels of thy mercy, we, being filled with knowledge, may deserve to be directed by truth.


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