Consonant with both Anglicanism’s and monasticism’s love of patristic theology-spirituality, I occasionally post selections from Durham University’s two-year lectionary for the Divine Office that draws mostly from patristic writings. The lectionary was initially edited by Stephen Mark Holmes (University of Edinburgh School of Divinity) and subsequently re-edited and formatted by Michele Freyhauf (Durham University). Click here for the link to the lectionary.]
Patristic Lectionary—22 June 2020, Saint Alban; Saints John Fisher and Thomas More; Feria after Second Sunday of Trinitytide (Monday ~ 12th Week in Ordinary Time)
Zechariah 8:1-17, 20-23
Promises of Salvation in Zion
And the word of the LORD of hosts came to me, saying, “Thus says the LORD of hosts: I am jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I am jealous for her with great wrath. Thus says the LORD: I will return to Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem, and Jerusalem shall be called the faithful city, and the mountain of the LORD of hosts, the holy mountain. Thus says the LORD of hosts: Old men and old women shall again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each with staff in hand for very age. And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets. Thus says the LORD of hosts: If it is marvellous in the sight of the remnant of this people in these days, should it also be marvellous in my sight, says the LORD of hosts? Thus says the LORD of hosts: Behold, I will save my people from the east country and from the west country; and I will bring them to dwell in the midst of Jerusalem; and they shall be my people and I will be their God, in faithfulness and in righteousness.”
Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Let your hands be strong, you who in these days have been hearing these words from the mouth of the prophets, since the day that the foundation of the house of the LORD of hosts was laid, that the temple might be built. Before those days there was no wage for man or any wage for beast, neither was there any safety from the foe for him who went out or came in; for I set every man against his fellow. But now I will not deal with the remnant of this people as in the former days, says the LORD of hosts. For there shall be a sowing of peace; the vine shall yield its fruit, and the ground shall give its increase, and the heavens shall give their dew; and I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these things. And as you have been a byword of cursing among the nations, O house of Judah and house of Israel, so will I save you and you shall be a blessing. Fear not, but let your hands be strong.”
For thus says the LORD of hosts: “As I purposed to do evil to you, when your fathers provoked me to wrath, and I did not relent, says the LORD of hosts, so again have I purposed in these days to do good to Jerusalem and to the house of Judah; fear not. These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another, render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace, do not devise evil in your hearts against one another, and love no false oath, for all these things I hate, says the LORD.”
“Thus says the LORD of hosts: Peoples shall yet come, even the inhabitants of many cities; the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, ‘Let us go at once to entreat the favour of the LORD, and to seek the LORD of hosts; I am going.’ Many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to entreat the favour of the LORD. Thus says the LORD of hosts: In those days ten men from the nations of every tongue shall take hold of the robe of a Jew, saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.’”
The Ladder of Perfection, II.3
There was a man that would go to Jerusalem, and because he did not know the way, he asked another man, who he believed knew the way better than him. When he asked him whether he would come to Jerusalem or not, the man answered that he could go no further without great pains and hardships, saying the way is long and perilous, and full of great thieves and robbers, and many other hindrances that come to pass to a man along the way. Nevertheless, there is one way, if one takes and sticks to it, that I am sure one will come to that city of Jerusalem, and never lose one’s life, nor be slain, nor die by default. Though he would often be robbed and beaten, and suffer much pain along the way, his life will be safe.
Then said the pilgrim, ‘So I may have my life saved, and come to the place that I covet, I care not what mischief I suffer in going.’
That other man answered and said, ‘Lo, I set you in the right way. This is the way, and see that you bear in mind all that I tell you. Whatsoever you see, hear, or feel, that would hinder you in the way, stick not at it, willingly consent not to it, abide not with it, behold it not, like it not, fear it not, but still go forward holding on your way, and ever think and say with yourself that you would rather be at Jerusalem. Jerusalem is, as much as to say, a sight of peace, and beholds contemplation in perfect love of God, for contemplation is nothing else but a sight of God, which is very peace.
The beginning of the highway, in which you shall go, is reforming in faith, and grounded humbly on the faith and on the laws of holy Church as I have said before. For trust assuredly, though you have sinned up to now, if you are now reformed by the sacrament of penance, after the law of holy Church, you are on the right way. Now then, since you are in the safe way, if you hurry along in your going and make a good journey, it behooves you to hold these two things often in mind: Humility and Love; and often say to yourself, I am nothing, I have nothing, I covet nothing, but one. Humility says, I am nothing, I have nothing; Love says, I covet nothing, but one, and that is Jesus. And if you do all this, then you shall resolve in your heart fully and wholly that you will be at Jerusalem, and at no other place but there; that is, your heart shall have wholly and fully nothing but the love of Jesus and the spiritual sight of him in such manner as he shall please to show himself; for to that end only are you made and redeemed, and he it is that is your beginning and your end, your joy and your bliss.