Clip from my favorite movie – Marcelino Pan Y Vino
OOR 15 April 2008 (Univeralis translation)
Prayers and vows of an exile
Lord, listen to my prayer and let my cry come to you.Do not hide your face from me: whenever I am troubled, turn to me and hear me.Whenever I call on you, hurry to answer me.For my days vanish like smoke, and my bones are dry as tinder.My heart is cut down like grass, it is dry – I cannot remember to eat.The sound of my groaning makes my bones stick to my flesh.I am lonely as a pelican in the wilderness, as an owl in the ruins, as a sparrow alone on a rooftop: I do not sleep.All day long my enemies taunt me, they burn with anger and use my name as a curse.I make ashes my bread, I mix tears with my drink, because of your anger and reproach –you, who raised me up, have dashed me to the ground.My days fade away like a shadow: I wither like grass.Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Psalm 101 (102)
But you, Lord, remain for ever and your name lasts from generation to generation.You will rise up and take pity on Sion, for it is time that you pitied it, indeed it is time:for your servants love its very stones and pity even its dust.Then, Lord, the peoples will fear your name. All the kings of the earth will fear your glory,when the Lord has rebuilt Sion and appeared there in his glory;when he has listened to the prayer of the destitute and not rejected their pleading.These things shall be written for the next generation and a people yet to be born shall praise the Lord.Because he has looked down from his high sanctuary, – the Lord has looked down from heaven to earth –and heard the groans of prisoners and freed the children of deathso that they could proclaim the Lord’s name in Sion and sing his praises in Jerusalem,where people and kingdoms gather together to serve the Lord.Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Psalm 101 (102)
He has brought down my strength in the midst of my journey; he has shortened my days.I will say, “My God, do not take me away half way through the days of my life.Your years last from generation to generation: in the beginning you founded the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.They will pass away but you will remain; all will grow old, like clothing, and like a cloak you will change them, and they will be changed.“But you are always the same, your years will never run out.The children of your servants shall live in peace, their descendants will endure in your sight”.Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Apocalypse 14:1 – 13 ©
Next in my vision I saw Mount Zion, and standing on it a Lamb who had with him a hundred and forty-four thousand people, all with his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. I heard a sound coming out of the sky like the sound of the ocean or the roar of thunder; it seemed to be the sound of harpists playing their harps. There in front of the throne they were singing a new hymn in the presence of the four animals and the elders, a hymn that could only be learnt by the hundred and forty-four thousand who had been redeemed from the world. These are the ones who have kept their virginity and not been defiled with women; they follow the Lamb wherever he goes; they have been redeemed from amongst men to be the first-fruits for God and for the Lamb. They never allowed a lie to pass their lips and no fault can be found in them. Then I saw another angel, flying high overhead, sent to announce the Good News of eternity to all who live on the earth, every nation, race, language and tribe. He was calling, ‘Fear God and praise him, because the time has come for him to sit in judgement; worship the maker of heaven and earth and sea and every water-spring’. A second angel followed him, calling, ‘Babylon has fallen, Babylon the Great has fallen, Babylon which gave the whole world the wine of God’s anger to drink’. A third angel followed, shouting aloud, ‘All those who worship the beast and his statue, or have had themselves branded on the hand or forehead, will be made to drink the wine of God’s fury which is ready, undiluted, in his cup of anger; in fire and brimstone they will be tortured in the presence of the holy angels and the Lamb and the smoke of their torture will go up for ever and ever. There will be no respite, night or day, for those who worshipped the beast or its statue or accepted branding with its name.’ This is why there must be constancy in the saints who keep the commandments of God and faith in Jesus. Then I heard a voice from heaven say to me, ‘Write down: Happy are those who die in the Lord! Happy indeed, the Spirit says; now they can rest for ever after their work, since their good deeds go with them.’
From a sermon by Saint Peter Chrysologus, bishop
Each one of us is called to be both a sacrifice to God and his priest
I appeal to you by the mercy of God. This appeal is made by Paul, or rather, it is made by God through Paul, because of God’s desire to be loved rather than feared, to be a father rather than a Lord. God appeals to us in his mercy to avoid having to punish us in his severity.Listen to the Lord’s appeal: In me, I want you to see your own body, your members, your heart, your bones, your blood. You may fear what is divine, but why not love what is human? You may run away from me as the Lord, but why not run to me as your father? Perhaps you are filled with shame for causing my bitter passion. Do not be afraid. This cross inflicts a mortal injury, not on me, but on death. These nails no longer pain me, but only deepen your love for me. I do not cry out because of these wounds, but through them I draw you into my heart. My body was stretched on the cross as a symbol, not of how much I suffered, but of my all-embracing love. I count it no less to shed my blood: it is the price I have paid for your ransom. Come, then, return to me and learn to know me as your father, who repays good for evil, love for injury, and boundless charity for piercing wounds.Listen now to what the Apostle urges us to do. I appeal to you, he says, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice. By this exhortation of his, Paul has raised all men to priestly status.How marvellous is the priesthood of the Christian, for he is both the victim that is offered on his own behalf, and the priest who makes the offering. He does not need to go beyond himself to seek what he is to immolate to God: with himself and in himself he brings the sacrifice he is to offer God for himself. The victim remains and the priest remains, always one and the same. Immolated, the victim still lives: the priest who immolates cannot kill. Truly it is an amazing sacrifice in which a body is offered without being slain and blood is offered without being shed.The Apostle says: I appeal to you by the mercy of God to present your bodies as a living sacrifice. Brethren, this sacrifice follows the pattern of Christ’s sacrifice by which he gave his body as a living immolation for the life of the world. He really made his body a living sacrifice, because, though slain, he continues to live. In such a victim death receives its ransom, but the victim remains alive. Death itself suffers the punishment. This is why death for the martyrs is actually a birth, and their end a beginning. Their execution is the door to life, and those who were thought to have been blotted out from the earth shine brilliantly in heaven.Paul says: I appeal to you by the mercy of God to present your bodies as a sacrifice, living and holy. The prophet said the same thing: Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but you have prepared a body for me. Each of us is called to be both a sacrifice to God and his prie
st. Do not forfeit what divine authority confers on you. Put on the garment of holiness, gird yourself with the belt of chastity. Let Christ be your helmet, let the cross on your forehead be your unfailing protection. Your breastplate should be the knowledge of God that he himself has given you. Keep burning continually the sweet smelling incense of prayer. Take up the sword of the Spirit. Let your heart be an altar. Then, with full confidence in God, present your body for sacrifice. God desires not death, but faith; God thirsts not for blood, but for self-surrender; God is appeased not by slaughter, but by the offering of your free will.
Grant, we pray you, almighty God, that we who venerate the mystery of the Lord’s resurrection may be worthy to take on the joy of our redemption.Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever.Amen.