Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Matins for St Peter Nolasco, Wednesday of the 3rd Week after Epiphany

I was quite moved by to-day's Matins Lessons.  First, there is the wonderful Pauline hymn contained in Ephesians i, 1-14 (which the modern Office I think very rightly has taken, somewhat abbreviated to only verses 3-10, to use as a canticle at Vespers on Mondays); and then, the short account of the life of St Peter Nolasco.  His collect, too, on which together with allied prayers I've blogged earlier, is noteworthy.

Herewith, Ephesians i, 1-14:

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the will of God, to all the saints who are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus.  Grace be to you, and peace from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.  

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
Who hath blessed us with spiritual blessings in heavenly places, in Christ: 
as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, 
that we should be holy and unspotted 
in His sight in charity: 
Who hath predestinated us unto the adoption of children 
through Jesus Christ unto Himself: 
according to the purpose of his will:
unto the praise of the glory of His grace, 
in which He hath graced us in His beloved Son:
in Whom we have redemption through His blood, 
the remission of sins, 
according to the riches of His grace, 
which hath superabounded in us 
in all wisdom and prudence, 
that He might make known unto us the mystery of His will, 
according to His good pleasure, 
which He hath purposed in Him, 
in the dispensation of the fulness of times, 
to re-establish all things in Christ, 
that are in heaven and on earth, in Him:

in Whom we also are called by lot, 
being predestinated according to the purpose of Him 
Who worketh all things according to the counsel of His will, 
that we may be unto the praise of His glory, 
we who before hoped Christ: 
in Whom you also, 
after you had heard the word of truth, 
(the gospel of your salvation;) 
in Whom also believing, 
you were signed with the holy Spirit of promise, 
Who is the pledge of our inheritance, 
unto the redemption of acquisition, 
unto the praise of His glory.
I was once privileged while on retreat to hear a masterly exegesis of this beautiful passage.

As I pray, after the example of the Byzantine Rite and of Bl Elizabeth of the Trinity, O.C.D., "Make me a praise of Thy glory, O Most Holy Trinity, consubstantial and undivided!"

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