Benedict of Nursia, Abbot of Monte Cassino, Father of Western Monasticism, c.550
Hear my prayer, O Lord, and in your faithfulness give ear to my supplications;
answer me in your righteousness.
Enter not into judgement with your servant, for in your sight shall no one living be justified.
For the enemy has pursued me, crushing my life to the ground, making me sit in darkness like those long dead.
My spirit faints within me;
my heart within me is desolate.
I remember the time past; I muse upon all your deeds;
I consider the works of your hands.
I stretch out my hands to you;
my soul gasps for you like a thirsty land.
O Lord, make haste to answer me; my spirit fails me;
hide not your face from me lest I be like those who go down to the Pit.
Let me hear of your loving-kindness in the morning,
for in you I put my trust;
show me the way I should walk in, for I lift up my soul to you.
Deliver me, O Lord, from my enemies, for I flee to you for refuge.
Teach me to do what pleases you, for you are my God;
let your kindly spirit lead me on a level path.
Revive me, O Lord, for your name’s sake;
for your righteousness’ sake, bring me out of trouble.
In your faithfulness, slay my enemies, and destroy all the adversaries of my soul,
for truly I am your servant.
Praise the Lord, O my soul:
while I live will I praise the Lord;
as long as I have any being, I will sing praises to my God.
Put not your trust in princes,nor in any human power,
for there is no help in them.
When their breath goes forth, they return to the earth;
on that day all their thoughts perish.
Happy are those who have the God of Jacob for their help,
whose hope is in the Lord their God;
Who made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them;
who keeps his promise for ever;
Who gives justice to those that suffer wrong and bread to those who hunger.
The Lord looses those that are bound;
the Lord opens the eyes of the blind;
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
the Lord loves the righteous;
The Lord watches over the stranger in the land;
he upholds the orphan and widow;
but the way of the wicked he turns upside down.
The Lord shall reign for ever, your God, O Zion, throughout all generations.
The word of the Lord came to me: Mortal, eat your bread with quaking, and drink your water with trembling and with fearfulness; and say to the people of the land, Thus says the Lord God concerning the inhabitants of Jerusalem in the land of Israel: They shall eat their bread with fearfulness, and drink their water in dismay, because their land shall be stripped of all it contains, on account of the violence of all those who live in it. The inhabited cities shall be laid waste, and the land shall become a desolation; and you shall know that I am the Lord.
The word of the Lord came to me: Mortal, what is this proverb of yours about the land of Israel, which says, ‘The days are prolonged, and every vision comes to nothing’? Tell them therefore, ‘Thus says the Lord God: I will put an end to this proverb, and they shall use it no more as a proverb in Israel.’ But say to them, The days are near, and the fulfilment of every vision. For there shall no longer be any false vision or flattering divination within the house of Israel. But I the Lord will speak the word that I speak, and it will be fulfilled. It will no longer be delayed; but in your days, O rebellious house, I will speak the word and fulfil it, says the Lord God.
The word of the Lord came to me: Mortal, the house of Israel is saying, ‘The vision that he sees is for many years ahead; he prophesies for distant times.’ Therefore say to them, Thus says the Lord God: None of my words will be delayed any longer, but the word that I speak will be fulfilled, says the Lord God.
2 Corinthians 8.16-9.5
But thanks be to God who put in the heart of Titus the same eagerness for you that I myself have. For he not only accepted our appeal, but since he is more eager than ever, he is going to you of his own accord. With him we are sending the brother who is famous among all the churches for his proclaiming of the good news; and not only that, but he has also been appointed by the churches to travel with us while we are administering this generous undertaking for the glory of the Lord himself and to show our goodwill. We intend that no one should blame us about this generous gift that we are administering, for we intend to do what is right not only in the Lord’s sight but also in the sight of others. And with them we are sending our brother whom we have often tested and found eager in many matters, but who is now more eager than ever because of his great confidence in you. As for Titus, he is my partner and co-worker in your service; as for our brothers, they are messengers of the churches, the glory of Christ. Therefore, openly before the churches, show them the proof of your love and of our reason for boasting about you.
Now it is not necessary for me to write to you about the ministry to the saints, for I know your eagerness, which is the subject of my boasting about you to the people of Macedonia, saying that Achaia has been ready since last year; and your zeal has stirred up most of them. But I am sending the brothers in order that our boasting about you may not prove to have been empty in this case, so that you may be ready, as I said you would be; otherwise, if some Macedonians come with me and find that you are not ready, we would be humiliated—to say nothing of you—in this undertaking. So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to go on ahead to you, and arrange in advance for this bountiful gift that you have promised, so that it may be ready as a voluntary gift and not as an extortion.
who made Benedict a wise master in the school of your service
and a guide to many called into community to follow the rule of Christ:
grant that we may put your love before all else
and seek with joy the way of your commandments;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.