WEDNESDAY THE TWENTY-SIXTH OF JULY, 2017
O Jesus! True liberty of angels, paradise of delights, remember the horror and sadness which you endured when your enemies, like furious lіons, surrounded you, and by thousands of insults, spits, blows, lacerations and other unheard-of cruelties, tormented you at wіll. In consideration of these torments and insulting words, I beseech you, O my saviour, to delіver me from all my enemies, visible and invisible and to bring me, under your protectіon, to the perfectіon of eternal salvation. Amen.
( Bridget of Sweden )
PSALM ONE HUNDRED AND NINE ( abridged )
O Lord my God,
save me for your loving mercy's sake.
Keep silent no longer, O God of my praise,
for the mouth of wickedness and treachery
is opened against me.
They have spoken against me with a lying tongue;
they encompassed me with words of hatred
and fought against me without a cause.
In return for my love, they set themselves against me,
even though I had prayed for them.
Thus have they repaid me with evil for good,
and hatred for my good will.
But deal with me, O Lord my God, according to your name;
O deliver me, for sweet is your faithfulness.
For I am helpless and poor
and my heart is disquieted within me.
I fade like a shadow that lengthens;
I am shaken off like a locust.
My knees are weak through fasting
and my flesh is dried up and wasted.
I have become a reproach to them;
those who see me shake their heads in scorn.
Help me, O Lord my God;
save me for your loving mercy's sake,
and they shall know that this is your hand,
that you, O Lord, have done it.
I will give great thanks to the Lord with my mouth;
in the midst of the multitude will I praise him;
because he has stood at the right hand of the needy,
to save them from those who would condemn them.
Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.
O Lord my God,
save me for your loving mercy's sake.
Lord, when we are repaid with evil for good,
help us not to return evil for evil,
but to bear witness to your steadfast love,
shown in the face of your dear Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
MEDITATION by Tim Madsen
Saint Bridget (or Birgitta) of Sweden was born in the early years of the fourteenth century into an influential family, whose father was the “lawspeaker” (governor) of the province of Upland. She married and raised a family and became known for her works of charity, particularly toward unwed mothers and their children. When she was in her early thirties, she was summoned to be lady-in-waiting to the new Queen of Sweden, Blanche of Namur. In 1341 she and her husband went on pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.
In 1344, shortly after their return, her husband died. After this, Bridget developed the idea of establishing the religious community which was to become the Order of the Most Holy Saviour, or the Brigittines. One distinctive feature of the pre-Reformation houses of the order was that they were double monasteries, with both men and women forming a joint community, though with separate cloisters.
Bridget was a mystic and visionary, best known for her “Revelations” an account of her dreams of the Crucified Christ and his Mother.
She died on the twenty-third of July, 1373.
Scripture. In the seventh chapter of the "Book of Daniel," verses thirteen and fourteen, we read:
"As I watched in the night visions, I saw one like a human being coming with the clouds of heaven. To him was given dominion and glory and kingship, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not pass away, and his kingship is one that shall never be destroyed."
... for peace in the world.
... for mystics.
... for men and women living in religious communities together.
... that we may be inspired by Christ's suffering to live out our faith with authenticity.
... for the people of Liberia and the people of the Maldives who celebrate their national days today.
... for those who have died 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, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.
From "The Prophecies and Revelations of Saint Bridget of Sweden":
A holy angel spoke to the bride and said, “There are two spirits, one uncreated and one created. The uncreated Spirit has three characteristics: first, he is hot; second, sweet; and third, pure. First, he gives off warmth, and his warmth does not come from created things but from himself, since he, together with the Father and the Son, is creator of all things and almighty. He gives off warmth when the whole soul burns for the love of God. Second, he is sweet, when nothing pleases the soul and nothing delights it but God and the recollection of his deeds. Third, he is so pure that no sin can be found in him, nor any deformity or corruption or mutability. He does not give off warmth like earthly fire, and he does not make things melt like the visible sun, but his warmth is the inner love and desire of the soul that fills the soul and engrosses her in God. He is sweet to the soul, not as a desirable wine or fleshly lust or any other worldly thing, but instead, the sweetness of this Spirit is incomparable to all temporal sweetness and unimaginable to those who have not tasted it. Third, this Spirit is as pure as the rays of the sun in which no blemish can be found.
The second spirit that is created also has three characteristics. He is burning, bitter, and unclean. First, he is burning and consuming like fire, for he completely enkindles the soul he possesses with the fire of lust and evil desire, so that the soul that is filled by him can neither think nor desire anything other than fulfilling this desire; and the consequence of this is that her temporal life is sometimes lost along with all honour and consolation. Second, he is bitter as gall, since he so inflames the soul with his evil lust, that future joys seem like nothing to her and eternal goods but foolishness. And all the things that are of God and which she, the soul, is obligated to do for God, become as bitter and despicable to her as vomit and gall. Third, he is unclean, since he makes the soul so vile and inclined to sin that she does not feel ashamed for any sin, and she would not abstain from any sin, if she did not fear being shamed and judged before men more than before God. This is why this spirit is like a burning fire, because he burns of desire to do evil and enkindles others along with itself. This is why he is bitter, because all good is bitter to him and he wants to make it bitter for others as well as for himself. This is why he is unclean, because he delights in impurity and wants that others shall become like himself.
Lord God, you revealed the secrets of heaven to your servant Bridget, as she meditated on the suffering and death of your son. Encourage us to persevere in the course that is set before us, and help us also to be living signs of the gospel and, at the last, to share in your eternal joy; through Jesus Christ our saviour and lord. 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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