Gleanings From Today's Liturgy

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The patristic reading at Matins really struck me this morning. I first began reading Clement of Alexandria about forty years ago. I remember going to share my discovery of Clement with Father D.B., a wise and kind Anglican clergyman at New Haven's magnificent Christ Church. Clement of Alexandria has lost nothing of his freshness for me.

Then, there is today's Collect. It's very difficult to translate elegantly. Most translations settle for a paraphrase. The prayer asks that we be preserved from doubt and made constant in faith and in hope.

At Matins: The Lesson of the Second Nocturn
From The Exhortation to the Heathen of Clement of Alexandria, Chapter IX

The Soul's Awakening

The Lord, with ceaseless assiduity,
exhorts, terrifies, urges, rouses, admonishes;
He awakes from the sleep of darkness,
and raises up those who have wandered in error.
"Awake," He says, "thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead,
and Christ shall give thee light," --
Christ, the Sun of the Resurrection,
He "who was born before the morning star,"
and with His beams bestows life.

Despise Not the Word

Let no one then despise the Word, lest he unwittingly despise himself.
For the Scripture somewhere says,
"To-day, if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts.
The Lord, in His love to man, invites all men to the knowledge of the truth,
and for this end sends the Paraclete.

His Only Work: Our Salvation

No one will be so impressed by the exhortations of any of the saints,
as he is by the words of the Lord Himself, the Lover of man.
For this, and nothing but this, is His only work--the salvation of man.
Therefore He Himself, urging them on to salvation, cries,
"The kingdom of heaven is at hand."

Toward Unity in Love

Hear, then, ye who are far off, hear ye who are near:
the word has not been hidden from any;
the light is common, it shines "on all men."
Let us hasten to salvation, to regeneration;
let us who are many hasten
that we may be brought together into one love,
according to the union of the essential unity;
and let us, by being made good, conformably follow after unity,
seeking after the unity of The One.

Christ, Our Choir-Leader

The union of many in one,
issuing in the production of divine harmony out of a medley of sounds and division, becomes one symphony following one choir-leader and teacher,
the Word, reaching and resting in the same truth,
and crying Abba, Father.
This, the true utterance of His children,
God accepts with gracious welcome,
the first-fruits He receives from them.

TODAY'S COLLECT

or

O God, who in the resurrection of Christ,
dost restore us to eternal life,
give Thy people constancy in faith and hope,
that, without wavering,
they may await the fulfillment
of what Thou hast revealed and promised.

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About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

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