Office of Hermits
Texts for an Office of Hermits
Lift up your eyes to heaven, and look down to the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish like smoke, and the earth shall be worn away like a garment, and the inhabitants thereof shall perish in like manner: but my salvation shall be forever, and my justice shall not fail.
I have put my words in thy mouth, and have protected thee in the shadow of my hand, that thou mightest plant the heavens, and found the earth: and mightest say to Sion: Thou art my people.
You shall not go out in a tumult, neither shall you make haste by flight: for the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will gather you together.
("office" - contd)"Sermon" from Isaac of N.
"office" of hermits
Thus saith the Lord: As if a grain be found in a cluster, and it be said: Destroy it not, because it is a blessing: so will I do for the sake of my servants, that I may not destroy the whole.
But to whom shall I look but to him that is poor and little, and of a contrite spirit, and that trembleth at my words?
When I go into my house, I shall repose myself with wisdom: for her conversation hath no bitterness, nor her company any tediousness, but joy and gladness.
(Jan 31, 1965)*
The heart of a fool is as a wheel of a cart, and his thoughts are like a rolling axletree.
( office )
From the cell (cella) one can often go up to heaven (caelum); but hardly ever or never does one go from the cell down to hell, except by dwelling on the depraved things of hell. At the moment of death, hardly ever does anyone go down from the cell to hell, because hardly ever does anyone persevere in it until death unless he is predestined for heaven: because the cell bears[?] a son of grace like the fruit of its womb.
Thus saith the Lord of Hosts: Set your hearts to consider your ways. You have sowed much, and brought in little: you have eaten, but have not been sated: you have drunk, but have not been inebriated: you have clothed yourselves, but have not been warmed: and he that hath earned wages, put them into a bag with holes.
Despise not the discourse of them that are ancient and wise, but acquaint thyself with their proverbs. For of them thou shalt learn wisdom, and instruction of understanding, and to serve great men without quarrel. Let not the discourse of the ancients escape thee, for they have learned of their fathers: for of them thou shalt learn understanding, and to given an answer in time of need.
"No-Thing" you love must be
And from "Thing" you must flee.
You must stand alone
with no man make your home.
From all striving cease,
From all beings find release.
Loose what you captive find
And what is free fast bind.
Bring comfort to the sick
For yourself nothing seek.
Drink from the spring of bitterness.
To light love's fire bring
Fuel of goodness.
So will your dwelling
O Lady and Mother of mercy who gave the world the Savior, consent to be my intercessor. I flee to your most gracious and singular protection, and you, O most faithful one, incline the ears of your fidelity to my prayers. I strongly fear that my life may not be pleasing to your son, and I entreat him that, just as he manifested himself to the world through you, so too, I beg, may he have pity on me without delay for your sake. Who lives and reigns.
My son, keep thy soul in meekness, and give it honor according to its desert.
(Stability in solitude.)
Be steadfast in thy covenant, and be conversant therein, and grow old in the work of thy commandments. Abide not in the works of sinners, but trust in God and stay in thy place.
officePrayer of Fulbert of Chartres (excerpt)
O Holy Virgin Mary, obtain for me a space and a place of repentence that I may not be allowed to spend vainly the days granted to this mortal life. Holy Mother of God, ever Virgin Mary, obtain for me the tears of compunction that I may weep incessantly for my numberless sins, so that, just as sinning was sweet to me, so too I may find it sweet to do penance and mourn, not only for my own sins but also for those committed by others.
X (59)From Psalter of Robert of Molesme
O Mother of God, Virgin Mary, fearless and forever blessed, singular and incomparable, most pleasing temple of God, tabernacle of the Holy Spirit, gate of heaven, through whom--after God--all on earth have their life: incline the ears of your holy virginal humility and fidelity to my unworthy prayers, and in all things be for me, a most wretched sinner, a faithful and well-disposed helper.
Flee yet from the midst of Babylon, and let every one save his own life: be not silent upon her iniquity: for it is the time of revenge from the Lord, he will render unto her what she hath deserved. Babylon hath been a golden cup in the hand of the Lord, that made all the earth drunk: the nations have drunk of her wine, and therefore they have staggered. Babylon is suddenly fallen, and destroyed: howl for her, take balm for her pain, if so she may be healed. We would have cured Babylon, but she is not healed: let us forsake her, and let us go every man to his own land: because her judgment hath reached even to the heavens, and is lifted up to the clouds.
Why, little man, do you run from one thing to another, searching for the goods of your soul and of your body? Love the one good in which are all goods, and that will suffice.
Youths shall faint and labor, and young men shall fall by infirmity. But they that hope in the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall take wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.
And I will wait for the Lord, who hath hid his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him.
(Christ) laid hold of him and defeated him: for he was a man combatting for his ancestors, and undoing (their) disobedience by (his) obedience: he fettered the strong one and he released the weak, and he gave salvation to his creation, destroying sin. Thus, he is a most faithful and merciful Lord, one who loves the human race.
Moreover I gave them also my sabbaths to be a sign between me and them: and that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them.
And I said to their children in the wilderness: Walk not in the statutes of your fathers, and observe not their judgments, nor be ye defiled with their idols: I am the Lord your God: walk ye in my statutes and observe my judgments, and do them. And sanctify my sabbaths, that they may be a sign between me and you: and that you may know that I am the Lord your God.
They have put no difference between holy and profane nor have distinguished between the polluted and the clean and they have turned away their eyes from my sabbaths and I was profaned in the midst of them.... And I sought among them for a man that might set up a hedge and stand in the gap before me in favor of the land, that I might not destroy it: and I found none.
Ephraim feedeth on the wind and followeth the heat all the day long. He multiplies lies and desolation... Therefore turn thou to thy God: keep mercy and judgment and hope in thy God always.