Thursday, December 22, 2016

Thursday 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. lxiv. Ch. lxiv.

Utinam dirumperes caelos, et descenderes; a facie tua montes defluerent. Sicut exustio ignis tabescerent, aquae arderent igni, ut notum fieret nomen tuum inimicis tuis, a facie tua gentes turbarentur. Cum feceris mirabilia, non sustinebimus; descendisti, et a facie tua montes defluxerunt. A saeculo non audierunt, neque auribus perceperunt; oculus non vidit, Deus, absque te, quae praeparasti exspectantibus te. Occurristi laetanti, et facienti justitiam; in viis tuis recordabuntur tui. Ecce tu iratus es, et peccavimus; in ipsis fuimus semper, et salvabimur. Et facti sumus ut immundus omnes nos, et quasi pannus menstruatae universae justitiae nostrae; et cecidimus quasi folium universi, et iniquitates nostrae quasi ventus abstulerunt nos. Non est qui invocet nomen tuum; qui consurgat, et teneat te. Abscondisti faciem tuam a nobis, et allisisti nos in manu iniquitatis nostrae. Et nunc, Domine, pater noster es tu, nos vero lutum; et fictor noster tu, et opera manuum tuarum omnes nos. Ne irascaris, Domine, satis, et ne ultra memineris iniquitatis nostrae; ecce, respice, populus tuus omnes nos. Civitas Sancti tui facta est deserta, Sion deserta facta est, Jerusalem desolata est. Domus sanctificationis nostrae et gloriae nostrae, ubi laudaverunt te patres nostri, facta est in exustionem ignis, et omnia desiderabilia nostra versa sunt in ruinas.

O That thou wouldst rend the heavens, and wouldst come down: the mountains would melt away at thy presence. They would melt as at the burning of fire, the waters would burn with fire, that thy name might be made known to thy enemies: that the nations might tremble at thy presence. When thou shalt do wonderful things, we shall not bear them: thou didst come down, and at thy presence the mountains melted away. From the beginning of the world they have not heard, nor perceived with the ears: the eye hath not seen, O God, besides thee, what things thou hast prepared for them that wait for thee. Thou hast met him that rejoiceth, and doth justice: in thy ways they shall remember thee: behold thou art angry, and we have sinned: in them we have been always, and we shall be saved. And we are all become as one unclean, and all our justices as the rag of a menstruous woman: and we have all fallen as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. There is none that calleth upon thy name: that riseth up, and taketh hold of thee: thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast crushed us in the hand of our iniquity. And now, O Lord, thou art our father, and we are clay: and thou art our maker, and we all are the works of thy hands. Be not very angry, O Lord, and remember no longer our iniquity: behold, see we are all thy people. The city of thy sanctuary is become a desert, Sion is made a desert, Jerusalem is desolate. The house of our holiness, and of our glory, where our fathers praised thee, is burnt with fire, and all our lovely things are turned into ruins.

O God of our Fathers! delay not, but show thyself unto us. The City, which thou lovest, is desolate; come and raise up Jerusalem; avenge the glory of her temple. This was the cry of the Prophet; thou hast heard it, and art come to deliver Sion from her captivity, giving her a new era of glory and holiness. Thou art come, not to destroy but to fulfill the law; and, by thy visit, Sion has been changed into the Church, thy Spouse. But why, O thou her Beloved Savior! why has thou turned away thy face? Why is this Church of thy love left in the wilderness, weeping like Jeremias over the ruins of the Sanctuary, and as Rachel over her children, that had been taken from her? Why has her inheritance been delivered to the stranger? By thy power, she had become the mother of countless children; she had nourished them; she had taught them, in thy name, the things that pertain to the present and the future life; and these ungrateful children have turned against her. She has been driven from nation to nation, bearing away with her the heavenly treasure of Faith; her mysteries have ceased to be celebrated where once they were the glory and happiness of the people; and from thy throne above, O divine Word, Creator of the universe, thou seest everywhere throughout the earth altars overturned, and temples profaned. Oh! come, then, and rekindle the smoldering fire of Faith.

Remember thy Apostles and thy Martyrs; remember thy Saints who have founded Churches, and honored them by their virtues and miracles; remember thy Spouse the Church, and support her during her earthly pilgrimage, until the number of thy elect is filled up. She longs to possess thee in the eternal light of the vision; but thou hast given her a heart with such mother’s love, that she will not leave her children as long as there be one to save, nor cease to save until that day come when there shall no more be a Militant Church, but the one sole Triumphant Church, inebriated with the enjoyment of the sight and embraces of her God. But that last day is not yet come, O Jesus! there is yet time for thee to descend from heaven and visit thy vineyard. Restore to the branches of the tree the leaves which had fallen in the storm of iniquity. Let this tree of thy predilection bud forth new branches; and the old ones, which had separated from it, and seemed to force thy justice to cast them in the fire, let them be once more grafted to the parent trunk, so torn by their rupture from her. Come, O Jesus, for the sake of thy Church; she is dearer to thee than was the Jerusalem of old.

Hymn Taken from the Anthology of the Greeks
(December the 21st)

Acervus areæ uterus tuus, Dei Mater, dignoscitur; spicam inexcultam, omnem sensum superantem, Verbum ferens ineffabiliter; quod in spelunca Bethlehem paries, eum qui omnem creaturam divina agnitione aliturus est in charitate, et a fame lethifera humanum genus liberaturus.

Thy womb, O Mother of God, is the heap of wheat of the Canticle; carrying, in an ineffable manner, the ear of corn, which, like no other, grew without being sown; thy Child is the Word, and thou wilt give him birth in Bethlehem’s cave: he it is will lovingly feed every creature with the knowledge of God, and free the human race from deadly hunger.

Innupta Virgo, unde venis? Quis te genuit? Quæ mater tua? Quomodo Creatorem fers in brachiis? Quomodo non corrupta fuisti utero? Magnas in te gratias, in terra stupenda adimpleta cernimus mysteria, o Omnisancta. Prout decet speluncam adornamus, et a cœlo petimus sidus; Magi progrediuntur ab oriente orbis usque ad occidentem, Salutem visuri mortalium, tuis in brachiis sicut facem prælucentem.

Whence comest thou, O pure Virgin? Thy father and mother, who are they? How dost thou carry thy Creator in thy arms? Mother, and yet a Virgin! These are great graces, and stupendous mysteries, which have been done in thee, all-holy Creature! We adorn the Cave as it behooves us, and we look for the star in the heavens; the Magi are coming from the east to our western world to see the Savior of men, shining in thy arms as a bright torch.

Lucidum Magistri palatium, quomodo venis in exiguissimam speluncam, Regem paritura Dominum, Omnisancta, Virgo Dei sponsa.

O Mary! fair palace of our Master, how is it thou art come into so poor a Cave, there to give birth to the King our Lord, O all-holy Virgin, Spouse of God.

Eva quidem per innobedientiæ nocumentum exsecrationem subintroduxit; tu autem, Virgo Dei Mater, per tuæ gestationis germinationem mundo florere fecisti benedictionem; unde omnes te magnificamus.

Eve, indeed, by the crime of disobedience brought a curse into the world: but thou, Virgin-Mother of God, by the flower thou bearest, hast made blessing bloom in the world; therefore do we all magnify thee.

Ne contristeris, Joseph, meum intuens uterum; videbis enim qui ex me nasciturus est atque gaudebis, eumque sicut Deum adorabis, aiebat Dei Mater suo sponso, dum Christum paritura veniret. Illam commemoremus dicentes: Gaude, gratia plena, Dominus tecum, et per te nobiscum.

The Mother of God, when the birth of Christ was near, spoke thus to her Spouse: Be not sad, Joseoph, finding that I am Mother; for thou shalt see Him who is to be born of me, and thou shalt rejoice and adore him as thy God. Let us commemorate this divine Mother, saying: Be glad, O full of Grace! the Lord is with thee, and with us by thee.

Prayer From the Ambrosian Missal
(In the Mass of the First Sunday of Advent)

Deus, qui Unigenito tuo novam creaturam nos tibi esse fecisti, respice propitius in opera misericordiæ tuæ, et in ejus Adventu ab omnibus nos maculis vetustatis emunda. Per eumdem Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

O God, who, by thine Only Begotten Son, hast made us to be a new creature unto thyself, mercifully look on the works which thy mercy has produced, and cleanse us, in the Coming of thy Son, from all the stains of our old habits. Through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


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