Francis de Sales, Bishop of Geneva, Teacher of the Faith, 1622
Day Seven - Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
My heart is astir with gracious words; as I make my song for the king, my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
You are the fairest of men; full of grace are your lips, for God has blest you for ever.
Gird your sword upon your thigh, O mighty one; gird on your majesty and glory.
Ride on and prosper in the cause of truth and for the sake of humility and righteousness.
Your right hand will teach you terrible things; your arrows will be sharp in the heart of the king’s enemies, so that peoples fall beneath you.
Your throne is God’s throne, for ever; the sceptre of your kingdom is the sceptre of righteousness.
You love righteousness and hate iniquity; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows.
All your garments are fragrant with myrrh, aloes and cassia; from ivory palaces the music of strings makes you glad.
Kings’ daughters are among your honourable women; at your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir.
Hear, O daughter; consider and incline your ear; forget your own people and your father’s house.
So shall the king have pleasure in your beauty; he is your lord, so do him honour.
The people of Tyre shall bring you gifts; the richest of the people shall seek your favour.
The king’s daughter is all glorious within; her clothing is embroidered cloth of gold.
She shall be brought to the king in raiment of needlework; after her the virgins that are her companions.
With joy and gladness shall they be brought and enter into the palace of the king.
‘Instead of your fathers you shall have sons, whom you shall make princes over all the land.
‘I will make your name to be remembered through all generations; therefore shall the peoples praise you for ever and ever.’
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble; Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be moved, and though the mountains tremble in the heart of the sea; Though the waters rage and swell, and though the mountains quake at the towering seas.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place of the dwelling of the Most High.` God is in the midst of her; therefore shall she not be removed; God shall help her at the break of day.
The nations are in uproar and the kingdoms are shaken, but God utters his voice and the earth shall melt away. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold.
Come and behold the works of the Lord, what destruction he has wrought upon the earth. He makes wars to cease in all the world; he shatters the bow and snaps the spear
and burns the chariots in the fire. ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth.’ The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold.
In the days of King Amraphel of Shinar, King Arioch of Ellasar, King Chedorlaomer of Elam, and King Tidal of Goiim, these kings made war with King Bera of Sodom, King Birsha of Gomorrah, King Shinab of Admah, King Shemeber of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar). All these joined forces in the Valley of Siddim (that is, the Dead Sea). For twelve years they had served Chedorlaomer, but in the thirteenth year they rebelled. In the fourteenth year Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him came and subdued the Rephaim in Ashteroth-karnaim, the Zuzim in Ham, the Emim in Shaveh-kiriathaim, and the Horites in the hill country of Seir as far as El-paran on the edge of the wilderness; then they turned back and came to En-mishpat (that is, Kadesh), and subdued all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites who lived in Hazazon-tamar. Then the king of Sodom, the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar) went out, and they joined battle in the Valley of Siddim with King Chedorlaomer of Elam, King Tidal of Goiim, King Amraphel of Shinar, and King Arioch of Ellasar, four kings against five. Now the Valley of Siddim was full of bitumen pits; and as the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, some fell into them, and the rest fled to the hill country. So the enemy took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their provisions, and went their way; they also took Lot, the son of Abram’s brother, who lived in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.
Then one who had escaped came and told Abram the Hebrew, who was living by the oaks of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol and of Aner; these were allies of Abram. When Abram heard that his nephew had been taken captive, he led forth his trained men, born in his house, three hundred and eighteen of them, and went in pursuit as far as Dan. He divided his forces against them by night, he and his servants, and routed them and pursued them to Hobah, north of Damascus. Then he brought back all the goods, and also brought back his nephew Lot with his goods, and the women and the people.
After his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley). And King Melchizedek of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was priest of God Most High. He blessed him and said, ‘Blessed be Abram by God Most High, maker of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!’
And Abram gave him one-tenth of everything. Then the king of Sodom said to Abram, ‘Give me the people, but take the goods for yourself.’ But Abram said to the king of Sodom, ‘I have sworn to the Lord, God Most High, maker of heaven and earth, that I would not take a thread or a sandal-thong or anything that is yours, so that you might not say, “I have made Abram rich.” I will take nothing but what the young men have eaten, and the share of the men who went with me—Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre. Let them take their share.’
Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, ‘Sit here while I go over there and pray.’ He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and agitated. Then he said to them, ‘I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me.’ And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.’ Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, ‘So, could you not stay awake with me one hour? Stay awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.’ Again he went away for the second time and prayed, ‘My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.’ Again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. So leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words. Then he came to the disciples and said to them, ‘Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up, let us be going. See, my betrayer is at hand.’
Holy God, who called your bishop Francis de Sales to bring many to Christ through his devout life and to renew your Church with patience and understanding: grant that we may, by word and example, reflect your gentleness and love to all we meet; through Jesus Christ our Saviour, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.