Vespers: Tuesday, wk 2

During Lent, this O.T. Canticle, based on Isaiah 1:12-20,
replaces the one for ordinary time

When you come to appear before me,
who asked this from your hand?
Trample my courts no more;
to bring offerings is futile.

When you stretch out your hands,
I will hide my eyes from you;
I will not listen to your many prayers.
Wash and make yourselves clean;

Take your evil deeds out of my sight.
Cease doing evil, learn to do good.
Seek justice and help the oppressed;
defend the orphan, plead for the widow.

Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be like snow;
though they are red like crimson,
they shall be like wool.

If you are willing to obey,
you will eat good things in the land,
but if you refuse and rebel,
you will be devoured by the sword.

Psalm 64  (Defeat of God’s enemies)
 

Hear me, O God, when I plead;
save me from fear of my foes.
Hide me from the mob of evildoers,
from the plottings of the wicked.
 

Their tongues are sharp like swords,
their cruel words like arrows.
From hiding they attack their victims,
suddenly and without warning.
 

They hold fast to evil resolves,
and conspire to conceal their traps.
They ask themselves: “Who will see us,
or who can discover our plans?”
 

God will know, who searches the mind
and knows the depths of their hearts.
 

The justice of God will prevail,
and suddenly they will collapse.
Their own tongues will bring them to ruin;
all who see their defeat will be shaken.
 

Then everyone will stand in awe
as they ponder these wonders;
they will proclaim what God has done.
 

The just will rejoice in God,
in whom they find refuge.
All true hearts will exult.
 

Psalm 141  (Evening prayer for protection)
 
Make haste to help me, God, when I cry out.
Hear me when I call upon your Name.
Let my prayer rise like incense before you;
as an evening sacrifice I raise my hands.
 

O God, set a watch before my mouth,
a guard at the door of my lips.
Let my heart not incline to what is wrong;
let my thoughts not turn to evil deeds.
 

Let me not pursue the way of sinners;
I never want to taste of their delights.
 

Correction from the faithful is kindness,
but let the wicked not anoint my head with oil.
I will counter their malice with prayer.
 
When the wicked stand before you in judgment,
they will know that your word is true.
As a plow splits the earth and ground is broken,
may the power of evil be crushed.
 
My eyes are fixed on you, God, my refuge;
I come to you because you save my life.
Protect me from the trap they hid for me;
from the snares of evildoers keep me safe.
 
Let the wicked fall into their own nets,
while I continue safely on my way.
 

Psalm 144  (Prayer for victory and peace)
 
Blessed be God, my rock,
who prepares me for battle,
who trains my hands for war.
 
God, you are my strength, my fortress,
my stronghold and my refuge,
my shield in whom I trust;
you put nations under my power.
 
O God, what is flesh that you care for us,
human beings that you keep us in mind?
Our life is merely a breath,
our days pass away like a shadow.
 
Lower the heavens and come down;
touch the mountains, and they will smoke.
Hurl lightning flashes and scatter them;
sound your thunder and put them to flight.
 
Stretch forth your hand from on high;
snatch me from the mighty waters.
 

Save me from the grasp of strangers,
whose mouths speak with deceit,
whose right hands are raised in falsehood.
 
I will sing a new song to you, O God,
with a ten-stringed lyre sing your praise,
for you give victory to rulers,
you rescued your servant David.
 
Rescue me from the evil sword,
save me from the grasp of strangers,
whose mouths speak with deceit
whose right hands are raised in falsehood.
 
May our sons be like plants,
well-nurtured from their youth,
our daughters like carved pillars
that are fit for a palace.
 

May our granaries be filled to overflowing,
with all kinds of provisions.
May our sheep be thousands in the pasture,
and our cattle well-fed and fruitful.
 
May there be no breach in our walls;
no exile on our streets, no cry of pain.
Happy is the nation with these blessings;
they are happy for the Most High is their God.
 

N.T. Canticle, based on Titus 2:11-14;3:4-7
 

God’s grace has been revealed
for the salvation of all,
training us to renounce worldly ambitions,
and give up all that does not lead to God,
 

To live with self-restraint in this world
while awaiting our blessed hope,
the appearing of the glory
of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.
 

Christ gave himself in sacrifice for us,
to set us free from all sin,
and to cleanse for himself a people of his own,
eager to do what is right.
 

We ourselves were once foolish,
disobedient, and far from true faith,
slaves to our passions and pleasures,
we passed our days in malice and envy.
 

but when the goodness and loving kindness
of God our Savior appeared,
Christ freed us from all sin.
 

Not through our own righteous deeds,
but in virtue of God’s own mercy,
Christ saved us through the baptism of new birth,
and renewal by the Holy Spirit.
 

This Spirit God lavished on us,
through Jesus Christ, our Savior,
that we might be justified by this grace,
and become heirs, in hope, of eternal life.
 

Psalms Trans. ©Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, 2008