Prayer for the Evening
Let us speak of the glory of God’s reign
and declare the Lord’s might!
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!
O John, rejoice this hallowed day
The triumph of the cross to hail,
Whereon with Christ ’twas thine to stay,
Transfixed with pang of spear and nail!
Nor insults, scorn, nor cruel scourge,
Bondage, nor hunger can restrain
The love thy panting soul doth urge
To taste the bitter draught of pain.
Thine only joy, thy sole reward,
The boon for which thy spirit sighed,
To mirror here thy suffering Lord,
Like him in anguish crucified.
While thou dost search the mystic night,
Through darkness gleams a radiant star,
And Carmel’s camp is all alight,
With flame that leads to heights afar.
Let them that dwell in bliss above
Praise thee, O Christ, with joyful lay,
Let them that run to thee in love
Pursue, like John, the thorn-strewn way.
I am the Lord, your God,/ who grasp your right hand;/ It is I who say to you, “Fear not,/ I will help you.” (Is 41:13)
Water for the thirsty, bread for the hungry, a strong hand for the uncertain: these are among the loveliest of the messianic promises. Repentance, penance look unappealing only to the short-sighted. Whatever changes the Lord’s coming requires of us, their purpose is simply to prepare us to receive the overwhelming abundance of the love he brings. This is the trust that animated the hard work of contemplative surrender to which Saint John of the Cross was committed.
Like the deer that years
for running streams,
so my soul is yearning
for you, my God.
My soul is thirsting for God,
the God of my life;
when can I enter and see
the face of God?
My tears have become my bread,
by night, by day,
as I hear it said all the day long:
“Where is your God?”
These things will I remember
as I pour out my soul:
how I would lead the rejoicing crowd
into the house of God,
amid cries of gladness and thanksgiving,
the throng wild with joy.
Why are you cast down, my soul,
why groan within me?
Hope in God; I will praise him still,
my savior and my God.
Glory to the Father….
Word of God (Isaiah 58:11)
The Lord will guide you always/ and give you plenty even on the parched land./ He will renew your strength,/ and you shall be like a watered garden,/ like a spring whose water never fails.
That all may see and know,/ observe and understand,/ That the hand of the Lord has done this. (Is 41:20)
Canticle of Mary
You shall rejoice in the Lord,/ and glory in the Holy One of Israel. (Is 41:16)
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.
Glory to the Father…
Christ shines unseen in the dark night of the soul. As evening falls, let us pray through the intercession of Saint John of the Cross that we will stand firm in faith until morning breaks.
R/You are our light.
O Lord, when we do not see your light,
– keep us faithful in our darkness. R/
O Lord, when we do not hear your voice,
– help us to persevere in prayer through the silence. R/
O Lord, when we do not feel your presence,
– make us stronger in love than in doubt. R/
O Lord, when we see the approach of death and not of life,
– keep alight in us the torch of hope. R/
May the God in whose ways/ our fathers Abraham and Isaac walked,/ The God who has been our shepherd/ from our birth to this day,/ The Angel who has delivered us from all harm,/ bless us and keep us in peace. Amen. (cf. Gn 48:15-16)
Antiphon for the Solemnity of Christmas,
This day a Virgin inviolate
has brought forth God for us,
clothed in tender members,
whom she was found worthy to suckle;
let us all adore him,
who has come to save us.
Alma Redemptoris Mater, quae pervia caeli
porta manes, et stella maris, succurre cadenti,
surgere qui curat, populo: tu quae genuisti,
natura mirante, tuum sanctum Genitorem,
Virgo prius ac posterius, Gabrielis ab ore
sumens illud Ave, peccatorum miserere.
Loving mother of the Redeemer,
gate of heaven, star of the sea,
assist your people who have fallen yet strive to rise again.
To the wonderment of nature you bore your Creator,
yet remained a virgin after as before.
You who received Gabriel’s joyful greeting,
have pity on us, poor sinners.
V/ Pray for us, O holy Mother of God,
R/ That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.