Monday, 3 July 2017

Votive Office of St Benedict on Tuesday for July

Once upon a time, on this coming Tuesday, as an unimpeded day, the Votive Office of St Benedict would have been said.  The readings for July in this Office are set out below for your consideration.

Reading 1: From the Third book of Kings (chapter 17:8-16) - 8 Then the word of the Lord came to Elias, saying: Arise, and go to Sarephta of the Sidonians, and dwell there: for I have commanded a widow woman there to feed thee. He arose, and went to Sarephta. And when he was come to the gate of the city, he saw the widow woman gathering sticks, and he called her, and said to her: Give me a little water in a vessel, that I may drink. And when she was going to fetch it he called after her, saying: Bring me also, I beseech thee, a morsel of bread in thy hand. And she answered: As the Lord thy God liveth, I have no bread, but only a handful of meal in a pot, and a little oil in a cruse: behold I am gathering two sticks that I may go in and dress it, for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die. And Elias said to her: Fear not, but go, and do as thou hast said: but first make for me of the same meal a little hearth cake, and bring it to me: and after make for thyself and thy son. For thus saith the Lord the God of Israel: The pot of meal shall not waste, nor the cruse of oil be diminished, until the day wherein the Lord will give rain upon the face of the earth. She went and did according to the word of Elias: and he ate, and she, and her house: and from that day.  The pot of meal wasted not, and the cruse of oil was not diminished, according to the word of the Lord, which he spoke in the hand of Elias.

R: Sanctus Benedictus plus appetiit mala mundi  perpeti quam laudes pro Deo laboribus fatigari * Quam vitae hujus favoribus extolli
V: Divina namque praeventus gratia magis ac magis ad superna animo suspirabat
R: Quam vitae hujus favoribus extolli
R St Benedict desiring rather the miseries of the world than the praises of men: rather to be wearied with labor for God's sake * than to be exalted with transitory commendation
V: For filled greatly with divine grace, his soul aspired to even higher things
R: Than to be exalted with transitory commendation 

Reading 2: [Dialogues II chapter 21] From the Dialogues of St Gregory - At another time, there was a great dearth in the same country of Campania: so that all kind of people tasted of the misery: and all the wheat of Benedict's monastery was spent, and likewise all the bread, so that there remained no more than five loaves for dinner. The venerable man, beholding the monks sad, both rebuked them modestly for their pusillanimity, and again did comfort them with this promise: "Why," quoth he, "are you so grieved in your minds for lack of bread? Indeed, today some want there is, but tomorrow you shall have plenty": and so it fell out, for the next day two hundred bushels of meal was found in sacks before his cell door, which almighty God sent them: but by whom, or what means, that is unknown to this very day: which miracle when the monks saw, they gave God thanks, and by this learned in want, not to make any doubt of plenty.

R: O laudanda sancti Benedicti merita gloriosa qui dum pro Christo patriam mundique sprevit pompam adeptus omnium contubernium beatorum * Et particeps factus praemiorum aeternorum
V: Inter choros confessorum splendidum possidet locum ubi ipsum fontem omnium intuetur bonorum
R: Et particeps factus praemiorum aeternorum
O praise the glorious merits of St Benedict who for Christ left his fatherland and the pomp of the world, and arrived at the companionship of all the blessed * And was made a partaker of eternal rewards
 V: He holds a splendid place among the chorus of confessors, where he gazes upon the font of all good
R: And was made a partaker of eternal rewards

Reading 3: [Dialogues II, chs 28-9] - At such time as there was a great dearth in Campania, the man of God had given away all the wealth of the Abbey to poor people, so that in the cellar there was nothing left but a little oil in a glass. A certain sub-deacon called Agapitus came unto him, instantly craving that he would bestow a little oil upon him. Our Lord's servant, that was resolved to give away all upon earth that he might find all in heaven, commanded that oil to be given him: but the monk that kept the cellar heard what the father commanded, yet did he not perform it: who inquiring not long after whether he had given that which he willed, the monk told him that he had not, |89 adding that if he had given it away, that there was not any left for the Convent. Then in an anger he commanded others to take that glass with the oil, and to throw it out at the window, to the end that nothing might remain in the Abbey contrary to obedience. The monks did so, and threw it out at a window, under which there was an huge downfall, full of rough and craggy stones upon which the glass did light, but yet continued for all that so sound as though it had never been thrown out at all, for neither the glass was broken nor any of the oil shed. Then the man of God did command it to be taken up again, and, whole as it was, to be given unto him that desired it, and in the presence of the other brethren he reprehended the disobedient monk, both for his infidelity, and also for his proud mind. After which reprehension, with the rest of his brethren he fell to praying, and in the place where they were, there stood an empty barrel with a cover upon it: and as the holy man continued in his prayers, the oil within did so increase, that the cover began to be lifted up, and at length fell down, and the oil, that was now higher than the mouth of the barrel, began to run over upon the pavement, which so soon as the servant of God, Benedict, beheld, forthwith he gave over his prayers, and the oil likewise ceased to overflow the barrel.

R: Sanctissime confessor Christi Benedicte monachorum pater et dux *  Intercede pro nostra omniumque salute
V: Devotae plebi subveni sancta intercessione ut tuis adjuta precibus regna caelestia consequatur
R: Intercede pro nostra omniumque salute
V: Gloria...
R: Intercede...
R: O Benedict, Most holy confessor of Christ, father and leader of monks, * Intercede for us and the salvation of all
V: Assist your devoted people with holy intercession so that with the help of your prayers they may reach the heavenly kingdom
R: Intercede for us and the salvation of all
V: Glory be...
R: Intercede...

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