Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, Teacher of the Faith, 397
On God alone my soul in stillness waits; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold, so that I shall never be shaken.
How long will all of you assail me to destroy me, as you would a tottering wall or a leaning fence?
They plot only to thrust me down from my place of honour; lies are their chief delight; they bless with their mouth, but in their heart they curse.
Wait on God alone in stillness, O my soul; for in him is my hope. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold, so that I shall not be shaken. In God is my strength and my glory; God is my strong rock; in him is my refuge. Put your trust in him always, my people; pour out your hearts before him, for God is our refuge. The peoples are but a breath, the whole human race a deceit; on the scales they are altogether lighter than air.
Put no trust in oppression; in robbery take no empty pride; though wealth increase, set not your heart upon it. God spoke once, and twice have I heard the same, that power belongs to God. Steadfast love belongs to you, O Lord, •or you repay everyone according to their deeds.
O God, you are my God; eagerly I seek you; my soul is athirst for you. My flesh also faints for you, as in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. So would I gaze upon you in your holy place, that I might behold your power and your glory.
Your loving-kindness is better than life itself and so my lips shall praise you. I will bless you as long as I live and lift up my hands in your name. My soul shall be satisfied, as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth shall praise you with joyful lips, When I remember you upon my bed and meditate on you in the watches of the night. For you have been my helper and under the shadow of your wings will I rejoice. My soul clings to you; your right hand shall hold me fast.
But those who seek my soul to destroy it shall go down to the depths of the earth; Let them fall by the edge of the sword and become a portion for jackals. But the king shall rejoice in God; all those who swear by him shall be glad, for the mouth of those who speak lies shall be stopped.
Come down and sit in the dust, virgin daughter Babylon!
Sit on the ground without a throne, daughter Chaldea!
For you shall no more be called tender and delicate.
Take the millstones and grind meal, remove your veil, strip off your robe, uncover your legs, pass through the rivers. Your nakedness shall be uncovered, and your shame shall be seen. I will take vengeance, and I will spare no one.
Our Redeemer—the Lord of hosts is his name—is the Holy One of Israel.
Sit in silence, and go into darkness, daughter Chaldea!
For you shall no more be called the mistress of kingdoms.
I was angry with my people, I profaned my heritage; I gave them into your hand, you showed them no mercy; on the aged you made your yoke exceedingly heavy. You said, ‘I shall be mistress for ever’, so that you did not lay these things to heart or remember their end.
Now therefore hear this, you lover of pleasures, who sit securely, who say in your heart,
‘I am, and there is no one besides me; I shall not sit as a widow or know the loss of children’
both these things shall come upon you in a moment, in one day: the loss of children and widowhood shall come upon you in full measure, in spite of your many sorceries and the great power of your enchantments.
You felt secure in your wickedness; you said,
‘No one sees me.’
Your wisdom and your knowledge led you astray, and you said in your heart,
‘I am, and there is no one besides me.’
But evil shall come upon you, which you cannot charm away; disaster shall fall upon you which you will not be able to ward off; and ruin shall come on you suddenly, of which you know nothing.
Stand fast in your enchantments and your many sorceries, with which you have laboured from your youth; perhaps you may be able to succeed, perhaps you may inspire terror. You are wearied with your many consultations; let those who study the heavens stand up and save you, those who gaze at the stars and at each new moon predict what shall befall you.
See, they are like stubble, the fire consumes them; they cannot deliver themselves from the power of the flame. No coal for warming oneself is this, no fire to sit before! Such to you are those with whom you have laboured, who have trafficked with you from your youth; they all wander about in their own paths; there is no one to save you.
1 Thessalonians 2.13-end
We also constantly give thanks to God for this, that when you received the word of God that you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word but as what it really is, God’s word, which is also at work in you believers. For you, brothers and sisters, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, for you suffered the same things from your own compatriots as they did from the Jews, who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out; they displease God and oppose everyone by hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. Thus they have constantly been filling up the measure of their sins; but God’s wrath has overtaken them at last.
As for us, brothers and sisters, when, for a short time, we were made orphans by being separated from you—in person, not in heart—we longed with great eagerness to see you face to face. For we wanted to come to you—certainly I, Paul, wanted to again and again—but Satan blocked our way. For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? Yes, you are our glory and joy!
God of hosts, who called Ambrose from the governor's throne to be a bishop in your Church and an intrepid champion of your faithful people: mercifully grant that, as he did not fear to rebuke rulers, so we, with like courage, may contend for the faith we have received; 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.