Boniface (Wynfrith) of Crediton, Bishop, Apostle of Germany, Martyr, 754
I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall ever be in my mouth.
My soul shall glory in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad.
O magnify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together.
I sought the Lord and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.
Look upon him and be radiant and your faces shall not be ashamed.
This poor soul cried, and the Lord heard me and saved me from all my troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him and delivers them.
O taste and see that the Lord is gracious; blessed is the one who trusts in him.
Fear the Lord, all you his holy ones, for those who fear him lack nothing.
Lions may lack and suffer hunger, but those who seek the Lord lack nothing that is good.
Come, my children, and listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
Who is there who delights in life and longs for days to enjoy good things?
Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from lying words.
Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.
The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous and his ears are open to their cry.
The face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
to root out the remembrance of them from the earth.
The righteous cry and the Lord hears them and delivers them out of all their troubles.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and will save those who are crushed in spirit.
Many are the troubles of the righteous; from them all will the Lord deliver them.
He keeps all their bones, so that not one of them is broken.
But evil shall slay the wicked and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
The Lord ransoms the life of his servants and will condemn none who seek refuge in him.
Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered:
‘Should the wise answer with windy knowledge, and fill themselves with the east wind?
Should they argue in unprofitable talk, or in words with which they can do no good?
But you are doing away with the fear of God, and hindering meditation before God.
For your iniquity teaches your mouth, and you choose the tongue of the crafty.
Your own mouth condemns you, and not I; your own lips testify against you.
‘Are you the firstborn of the human race?
Were you brought forth before the hills?
Have you listened in the council of God?
And do you limit wisdom to yourself?
What do you know that we do not know?
What do you understand that is not clear to us?
The grey-haired and the aged are on our side, those older than your father.
Are the consolations of God too small for you, or the word that deals gently with you?
Why does your heart carry you away, and why do your eyes flash,
so that you turn your spirit against God, and let such words go out of your mouth?
What are mortals, that they can be clean?
Or those born of woman, that they can be righteous?
God puts no trust even in his holy ones, and the heavens are not clean in his sight;
how much less one who is abominable and corrupt, one who drinks iniquity like water!
‘I will show you; listen to me;
what I have seen I will declare - what sages have told, and their ancestors have not hidden,
to whom alone the land was given, and no stranger passed among them.
The wicked writhe in pain all their days, through all the years that are laid up for the ruthless.
Terrifying sounds are in their ears; in prosperity the destroyer will come upon them.
They despair of returning from darkness, and they are destined for the sword.
They wander abroad for bread, saying, “Where is it?”
They know that a day of darkness is ready at hand;
distress and anguish terrify them;
they prevail against them, like a king prepared for battle.
Because they stretched out their hands against God, and bid defiance to the Almighty,
running stubbornly against him with a thick-bossed shield;
because they have covered their faces with their fat, and gathered fat upon their loins,
they will live in desolate cities, in houses that no one should inhabit,
houses destined to become heaps of ruins;
they will not be rich, and their wealth will not endure, nor will they strike root in the earth;
they will not escape from darkness;
the flame will dry up their shoots, and their blossom will be swept away by the wind.
Let them not trust in emptiness, deceiving themselves;
for emptiness will be their recompense.
It will be paid in full before their time, and their branch will not be green.
They will shake off their unripe grape, like the vine, and cast off their blossoms, like the olive tree.
For the company of the godless is barren, and fire consumes the tents of bribery.
They conceive mischief and bring forth evil and their heart prepares deceit.’
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, so that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law—indeed it cannot, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.
God our redeemer,
who called your servant Boniface
to preach the gospel among the German people
and to build up your Church in holiness:
grant that we may preserve in our hearts
that faith which he taught with his words and sealed with his blood,
and profess it in lives dedicated to your Son
Jesus Christ our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen. b