Verse to Meditate on Throughout the Day
“Come and show us your face, O Lord, who are seated upon the Cherubim, and we will be saved” (Cf. Ps. 80:4, 2)
O God, who sent your Only Begotten Son into this world to free the human race form its ancient enslavement, besot on those who devoutly await him the grace of your compassion from on high, that we may attain the prize of true freedom.
[Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever]
Prayer of Offering Throughout the Day
May the sacrifice of our worship, Lord, we pray, be offered to you unceasingly to complete what was begun in sacred mystery and powerfully accomplish for us your saving work. Through Christ our Lord.
Verse at end of day
“Behold, I am coming soon and my recompense is with me, says the Lord, to bestow a reward according to the deeds of each” (Cf. Rev. 22:12)
Longer Scripture Reading: Isaiah 21:6-12
Advent Reflection: A treatise on the value of patience, by St Cyprian, bishop and martyr
(Nn 13 et 15: CSEL 3 406-408)
We hope for what we do not see
Patience is a precept for salvation given us by our Lord our teacher: “Whoever endures to the end will be saved.” And again: “If you persevere in my word, you will truly be my disciples”; “you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Dear brethren, we must endure and persevere if we are to attain the truth and freedom we have been allowed to hope for; faith and hope are the very meaning of our being Christians, but if faith and hope are to bear their fruit, patience is necessary.
We do not seek glory now, in the present, but we look for future glory, as Saint Paul instructs us when he says: By hope we were saved. Now hope which is seen is not hope; how can a man hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it in patience. Patient waiting is necessary if we are to be perfected in what we have begun to be, and if we are to receive from God what we hope for and believe.
In another place, the same Apostle instructs and teaches the just, and those active in good works, and those who store up for themselves treasures in heaven through the reward God gives them. They are to be patient also, for he says: Therefore while we have time, let us do good to all, but especially to those who are of the household of the faith. But let us not grow weary in doing good, for we shall reap our reward in due season.
Paul warns us not to grow weary in good works through impatience, not to be distracted or overcome by temptations and so give up in the midst of our pilgrimage of praise and glory, and allow our past good deeds to count for nothing because what was begun falls short of completion.
Finally, the Apostle, speaking of charity, unites it with endurance and patience. Charity, he says, is always patient and kind; it is not jealous, is not boastful, is not given to anger, does not think evil, loves all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. He shows that charity can be steadfast and persevering because it has learned how to endure all things.
And in another place he says: Bear with one another lovingly, striving to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. He shows that neither unity nor peace can be maintained unless the brethren cherish each other with mutual forbearance and preserve the bond of harmony by means of patience.