Evening Prayer 12.10.16, Thomas Merton, Contemplative & Writer, 1968

Jesus said to them, “When I sent you out without a purse, bag, or sandals, did you lack anything?” They said, “No, not a thing.”

Gethsemani Abbey, Kentucky, the Cistercian monastery where Thomas Merton dedicated his life. (Letha Tomes Drury)

Gethsemani Abbey, Kentucky, the Cistercian monastery where Thomas Merton dedicated his life. (Letha Tomes Drury)

In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Isaiah 40:3

INVITATORY AND PSALTER

O God, be not far from us.
Come quickly to help us, O God.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia.

Hymn: Light of the World
Phos hilaron

Light of the world in grace and beauty,
Mirror of God’s eternal face,
Transparent flame of love’s free duty,
You bring salvation to our race.
Now, as we see the lights of evening,
We raise our voice in hymns of praise;
Worthy are you of endless blessing,
Sun of our night, lamp of our days.

Psalm 42

1  As the deer longs for the water-brooks, *
so longs my soul for you, O God.
2  My soul is athirst for God, athirst for the living God; *
when shall I come to appear before the presence of God?
3  My tears have been my food day and night, *
while all day long they say to me,
“Where now is your God?”
4  I pour out my soul when I think on these things: *
how I went with the multitude and led them into the house of God,
5  With the voice of praise and thanksgiving *
among those who keep holy-day.
6  Why are you so full of heaviness, O my soul? *
and why are you so disquieted within me?
7  Put your trust in God; *
for I will yet give thanks to the One
who is the help of my countenance, and my God.

8  My soul is heavy within me; *
therefore I will remember you from the land of Jordan,
and from the peak of Mizar among the heights of Hermon.
9  One deep calls out to another in the noise of your cataracts; *
all your rapids and floods have gone over me.
10  The LORD grants loving-kindness in the daytime; *
in the night season the song of the LORD is with me,
a prayer to the God of my life.
11  I will say to the God of my strength,
“Why have you forgotten me? *
and why do I go so heavily while the enemy oppresses me?”
12  While my bones are being broken, *
my enemies mock me to my face;
13  All day long they mock me *
and say to me, “Where now is your God?”
14  Why are you so full of heaviness, O my soul? *
and why are you so disquieted within me?
15  Put your trust in God; *
for I will yet give thanks to the One
who is the help of my countenance, and my God.

Psalm 43

1  Give judgment for me, O God,
and defend my cause against an ungodly people; *
deliver me from the deceitful and the wicked.
2  For you are the God of my strength;
why have you put me from you? *
and why do I go so heavily while the enemy oppresses me?
3  Send out your light and your truth, that they may lead me, *
and bring me to your holy hill
and to your dwelling;
4  That I may go to the altar of God,
to the God of my joy and gladness; *
and on the harp I will give thanks to you, O God my God.
5  Why are you so full of heaviness, O my soul? *
and why are you so disquieted within me?
6  Put your trust in God; *
for I will yet give thanks to the One
who is the help of my countenance, and my God.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

THE LESSON
Luke 22:31-38 (NRSV)

Jesus said, “Simon, Simon, listen! Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your own faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” And he said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death!” Jesus said, “I tell you, Peter, the cock will not crow this day, until you have denied three times that you know me.” He said to them, “When I sent you out without a purse, bag, or sandals, did you lack anything?” They said, “No, not a thing.” He said to them, “But now, the one who has a purse must take it, and likewise a bag. And the one who has no sword must sell his cloak and buy one. For I tell you, this scripture must be fulfilled in me, ‘And he was counted among the lawless’; and indeed what is written about me is being fulfilled.” They said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.” He replied, “It is enough.”

Canticle: The Song of Mary
Luke 1:46-55

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in you, O God my Savior, *
for you have looked with favor on your lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed: *
you, the Almighty, have done great things for me,
and holy is your Name.
You have mercy on those who fear you *
from generation to generation.
You have shown strength with your arm, *
and scattered the proud in their conceit,
Casting down the mighty from their thrones, *
and lifting up the lowly.
You have filled the hungry with good things, *
and sent the rich away empty.
You have come to the help of your servant Israel, *
for you have remembered your promise of mercy,
The promise made to our forebears, *
to Abraham and his children for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

THE APOSTLES’ CREED

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

THE PRAYERS

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.
Save us from the time of trial, and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and for ever. Amen.

That this evening may be holy, good, and peaceful,
We entreat you, O Lord.
That your holy angels may lead us in paths of peace and goodwill,
We entreat you, O Lord.
That we may be pardoned and forgiven for our sins and offenses,
We entreat you, O Lord.
That there may be peace to your Church and to the whole world,
We entreat you, O Lord.
That we may depart this life in your faith and fear,
and not be condemned before the great judgment seat of Christ,
We entreat you, O Lord.
That we may be bound together by your Holy Spirit
in the communion of all your saints,
entrusting one another and all our life to Christ,
We entreat you, O Lord.

Thomas Merton was an American Trappist monk; he lived a cloistered life marked by hard manual labor. But his abbot encouraged his writing talent and he became one of the most important Roman Catholic authors of the last century, with works ranging from spirituality and the contemplative life to religious biography and the nuclear arms race. He inspired new generations of Christians to take up the practice of meditation in the popular form of centering prayer. (Fr. Bill McNichols)

Thomas Merton was an American Trappist monk; he lived a cloistered life marked by hard manual labor. But his abbot encouraged his writing talent and he became one of the most important Roman Catholic authors of the last century, with works ranging from spirituality and the contemplative life to religious biography and the nuclear arms race. He inspired new generations of Christians to take up the practice of meditation in the popular form of centering prayer. (Fr. Bill McNichols)

Collect of the Day: Thomas Merton, Contemplative and Writer, 1968

Gracious God, you called your monk Thomas Merton to proclaim your justice out of silence and moved him in his contemplative writings to perceive and value Christ at work in the faiths of others: Keep us, like him, steadfast in the knowledge and love of Jesus Christ; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

For Peace

Almighty God, kindle, we pray, in every heart the true love of peace, and guide with your wisdom those who take counsel for the nations of the earth, that in tranquillity your dominion may increase until the earth is filled with the knowledge of your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

A Collect for Saturdays

O God, the source of eternal light: Shed forth your unending day upon us who watch for you, that our lips may praise you, our lives may bless you, and our worship on the morrow give you glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A Prayer by Thomas Merton
from Thoughts in Solitude

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

Saturday Evening Prayer List: For the Church

For Our Mission Partners
Cuttington University School of Nursing, Liberia
The American Friends of Cuttington, New York
Colleges and Universities of the Anglican Communion, New York; Canon Jamie Callaway
Diocese of Brasilia Afterschool Program, Brazil
Rosebud Episcopal Mission, South Dakota
St. André’s School, Mithon, Haiti

For Mission

O God, you have made of one blood all the peoples of the earth, and sent your blessed Son to preach peace to those who are far off and to those who are near: Grant that people everywhere may seek after you and find you; bring the nations into your fold; pour out your Spirit upon all flesh, and hasten the coming of your kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Romans 15:13++

VIDEO: The King shall come when morning dawns (#73, St. Stephen, William Jones, alt.; Greek, tr. John Brownlie, alt.) – Andrew Remillard, piano, 2015

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