Terce Christmas Eve

The plight of our brothers in the Faith over in hostile mohammedan lands has been constantly on my mind as of late, perhaps it’s even a gentle reminder from above that my prayers during this most holy season should be offered up especially for them.

In the Benedictine Office the Gradual Psalms ( 119-127 Vulgate numbering) are prayed at the little hours from Tuesday through Saturday. Psalm 119 is very appropriate to the theme of being surrounded by evil men:

119:1. In my trouble I cried to the Lord: and he heard me.

119:2. O Lord, deliver my soul from wicked lips, and a deceitful tongue.

119:3. What shall be given to thee, or what shall be added to thee, to a deceitful tongue?

119:4. The sharp arrows of the mighty, with coals that lay waste.

119:5. Woe is me, that my sojourning is prolonged! I have dwelt with the inhabitants of Cedar:

119:6. My soul hath been long a sojourner.

119:7. With them that hated peace I was peaceable: when I spoke to them they fought against me without cause.”

The answer to this lament is given throughout the following two psalms, but what really jumped out at me in the context of Christmas Eve Terce is the antiphon and the verse and response:

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The ” tomorrow” of His coming is certainly the feast of Christmas, but it is also the tomorrow of His Second Coming in glory. All that is asked of us( and it certainly isn’t easy at times) is to ” be steadfast”. Steadfastness in the face of evil, violence and the seeming silence of our God will be rewarded in His own time.

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