PRAYER FOR THIS MORNING (THURSDAY, AUGUST 20)
Prayer for the Morning
God is holy in all his saints: come, let us adore!
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!
Saint Bernard, jewel in the crown
Of Mother Church you loved so well,
Repay our lowly praise with grace
To earn the joy no tongue can tell.
Christ wounded your pure heart with love
To which all other fire must yield,
That you might serve his Bride the Church,
As pillar, gleaming light, and shield.
The Holy Spirit blessed your lips,
That words of truth from them should flow,
As sweet as honey to the taste,
Yet burning with a seraph’s glow.
The Virgin Mother filled your heart
With ardor for her Son alone;
No preacher ever spoke of her
In words more tender than your own.
A lover of deep solitude,
The world was filled with your repute,
So that great leaders, teachers, kings,
Sought your solutions in dispute.
Be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Mt 5:48)
Saint Bernard fostered the renewal of monastic life through the Cistercian observance of the Rule of Saint Benedict, which uses Psalm 15 to describe the holiness required of one who seeks to dwell in God’s presence.
Lord, who shall be admitted to your tent
and dwell on your holy mountain?
He who walks without fault;
he who acts with justice
and speaks the truth from his heart;
he who does not slander with his tongue;
he who does no wrong to his brother,
who casts no slur on his neighbor,
who holds the godless in disdain,
but honors those who fear the Lord;
he who keeps his pledge, come what may;
who takes no interest on a loan
and accepts no bribes against the innocent.
Such a man will stand firm for ever.
Glory to the Father….
Word of God (Isaiah 59:17)
He put on justice as his breastplate,/ salvation, as the helmet on his head;/ He clothed himself with garments of vengeance,/ wrapped himself in a mantle of zeal.
Zeal for your house consumed him. (cf. Ps 69:10)
CANTICLE OF ZECHARIAH
Do not grow slack in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. (Rom 12:11)
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
he has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty savior,
born of the house of his servant David.
Through his holy prophets he promised of old
that he would save us from our enemies,
from the hands of all who hate us.
He promised to show mercy to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant.
This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear,
holy and righteous in his sight
all the days of our life.
You, my child, shall be called the prophet
of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
to give his people knowledge of salvation
by the forgiveness of their sins.
In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness
and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.
Glory to the Father…
Saint Bernard was consumed with zealous love for holiness of life, for monastic renewal, and for the Church. Through his intercession, let us pray:
R/Pour your love into all hearts.
For your people in every walk of life:
– make us grow in holiness despite all enticements to love less. R/
For the men and women you have called to monastic life:
– keep them faithful to the vision of their founders. R/
For the Church in all places:
– set her alight with the fire of the Gospel. R/
O God, you called Saint Bernard to work tirelessly for your glory in his own community and in the Church at large. Fill us with his zeal, that we may serve you faithfully in all the works to which you have called us, but especially in the work of living holy lives according to the Gospel, through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.