WEDNESDAY THE ELEVENTH OF JULY, 2018
* Benedict of Nursia *
Gracious and holy Father, give us wisdom to perceive you, intelligence to understand you, diligence to see you, patience to wait for you, eyes to behold you, a heart to meditate on you and a life to proclaim you, through the power of the Spirit of Jesus Christ our lord. Amen.
( Benedict of Nursia )
O Jesus, I have promised to serve you to the end;
be you forever near me, my master and my friend;
I shall not fear the battle if you are by my side,
nor wander from the pathway if you will be my guide.
O let me feel you near me! The world is ever near;
I see the sights that dazzle, the tempting sounds I hear;
my foes are ever near me, around me and within;
but Jesus, draw you nearer, and shield my soul from sin.
O let me hear you speaking in accents clear and still,
above the storms of passion, the murmurs of self will.
O speak to reassure me, to hasten or control;
O speak, and make me listen, you guardian of my soul.
O Jesus, you have promised to all who follow you
that where you are in glory your servant shall be too.
And Jesus, I have promised to serve you to the end;
O give me grace to follow, my master and my friend.
O let me see your footprints, and in them plant mine own;
my hope to follow duly is in your strength alone.
O guide me, call me, draw me, uphold me to the end;
and then in Heaven receive me, my saviour and my friend.
( John E. Bode )
MEDITATION by Tim Madsen
Benedict of Nursia: treat every guest as Christ
Much of what we know about Saint Benedict comes from legends, and their accuracy is debated by scholars. Legend holds that he was born in the mountains northeast of Rome somewhere around 480AD and was educated in Rome. Rome itself was going through political instability with the movement of the so-called Barbarian tribes. Manners and morals were set at a low standard.
Benedict fled the eternal city as a young man to become a hermit. Soon, however a community of people grew around Benedict and he and his followers moved to Monte Cassino where, somewhere near the year 540, he wrote a monastic rule. He died sometime around 540AD. He is considered to be the founder or father of western monasticism.
Those following Benedict's order own nothing personally, although they have enough food, drink, and clothing. They work with their hands for about six hours a day. Their leisure is spent reading scripture and holy writings and praying with the community. A large focus of the Benedictine rule is to show great compassion and hospitality to strangers, the young, the old, and the sick.
Benedictine monks were responsible for much of the settlement of Europe, turning forest into farmland. Also Benedictine monks were responsible for copying the texts of "The Bible" for contemporary use. They also copied many books from the older Latin and Greek authors, keeping alive literature and philosophy of ancient Greece and Rome.
Quote: "Let all guests who arrive be received like Christ, for he is going to say, 'I was a stranger, and you welcomed Me'”
Scripture: In "The Book of Proverbs," chapter two, verses six to eight, we read:
For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk blamelessly, guarding the paths of justice and preserving the way of his faithful ones.
... for peace in the world.
... for monks, nuns and hermits.
... that our personal rules for our lives will be based on the teachings of Jesus Christ and on his compassion for all people, especially those in need; that we may be welcoming and hospitable people.
... for the people of Mongolia who celebrate their national day today.
... for people and animals adversely affected by hot weather.
... for those who have died recently and for those who mourn their passing.
... for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.
... for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.
... for ourselves.
THE LORD'S PRAYER
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.
From "The Holy Rule of Saint Benedict":
Of Reverence at Prayer
If we do not venture to approach men who are in power, except with humility and reverence, when we wish to ask a favour, how much must we beseech the Lord God of all things with all humility and purity of devotion? And let us be assured that it is not in many words, but in the purity of heart and tears of compunction that we are heard. For this reason prayer ought to be short and pure, unless, perhaps it is lengthened by the inspiration of divine grace. At the community exercises, however, let the prayer always be short, and the sign having been given by the Superior, let all rise together.
Almighty and everlasting God, your precepts are the wisdom of a loving father: give us grace, following the teaching and example of your servant Benedict, to walk with loving and willing hearts in the school of the Lord's service; let your ears be open to our prayers; and prosper with your blessing the work of our hands; through Jesus Christ our lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
NOW LIGHT A CANDLE
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