Lord, you have been our dwelling place
throughout all generations.
2 Before the mountains were born
or you brought forth the whole world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
3 You turn people back to dust,
saying, “Return to dust, you mortals.”
4 A thousand years in your sight
are like a day that has just gone by,
or like a watch in the night.
5 Yet you sweep people away in the sleep of death—
they are like the new grass of the morning:
6 In the morning it springs up new,
but by evening it is dry and withered.
7 We are consumed by your anger
and terrified by your indignation.
8 You have set our iniquities before you,
our secret sins in the light of your presence.
9 All our days pass away under your wrath;
we finish our years with a moan.
10 Our days may come to seventy years,
or eighty, if our strength endures;
yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow,
for they quickly pass, and we fly away.
11 If only we knew the power of your anger!
Your wrath is as great as the fear that is your due.
12 Teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
13 Relent, Lord! How long will it be?
Have compassion on your servants.
14 Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
for as many years as we have seen trouble.
16 May your deeds be shown to your servants,
your splendor to their children.
17 May the favor[a] of the Lord our God rest on us;
establish the work of our hands for us—
yes, establish the work of our hands.
Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. 2 I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles. 3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. 8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. 11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.[b] That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. 14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 15 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. 17 Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.
2 Peter 3: 1-18
"After 1976 Dorothy [Day] virtually withdrew from the affairs of the world of the Worker movement. Her lot, as she knew, was to await death. Content to spend as much time as she could in the company of her daughter and grandchildren, she remained in her room at Maryhouse, coming downstairs only for the even Mass that was said at the house. In her room, which overlooked Third Street, she could look out onto the dismal prospect of a narrow street, shadowed by five-story buildings, shoulder to shoulder, whose unkempt and desolate appearance suggested that they, like the people who passed before them, felt that their existence mattered not at all. In front of these buildings, parked cars at the curbs were jammed against one another. One structure, ugly with shattered windows and an aspect of grotesque garishness, was fronted by motorcycles--powerful brutish machines with signs and symbols that proclaimed their owners' defiance of civilized norms. The building was the home of the Hell's Angels, a motorcycle gang about whose doings fearful stories were told.
"It was in this part of New York that Dorothy had spent a half-century of her own life, where just blocks away she had lived in 1917 as the acting editor of the Masses and where in that cold winterof 1918 she had whiled away the nights with Eugene O'Neill and the young radicals and artists of the Village. A few blocks to the west and south was New York's Lower East Side, the home of the Jews. She had never left them. Mott Street was two blocks away, the street of the Italians. She remembered sitting on the front steps of the Mott Street house, watching them celebrate the feast of San Gennaro. Perhaps she remembered that night soon after the war had begun, the cool clear air and the half-moon shining brightly over Mott Street.
"Dorothy died on November 29, 1980, just as night began to soften the harshness of the poverty and ugliness of Third Street. Her daughter, Tamar, was in the room with her. There was no struggle. The last of the energy that sustained her life had been used.
"The funeral was on December 2 at the Nativity Catholic Church, a half block away from Maryhouse. An hour before the service, scheduled for 11 o'clock in the morning, people began to assemble in the street. Some were curious onlookers, the hollow-eyed people and stumbling people who roam the streets of lower New York, but others were drawn there by some sense of propriety of paying their last respects to the woman who had clothed and fed them. There were American Indians, Mexican workers, blacks and Puerto Ricans. There were people in eccentric dress, apostles of causes who had fealt a great power and truth in Dorothy's life.
"At the appointed time, a procession of these friends and fellow workers came down the sidewalk. AT the head of it Dorothy's grandchildren carried the pine box that held her body. Tamar, Forster, and her brother John followed. At the church door, Cardinal Terence Cooke met the body to bless it. As the procession stopped for this rite, a demented person pushed his way through the crowd and bending low over the coffin peered at it intently. No one interfered, because, as even the funeral directors understood, it was in such as this man that Dorothy had seen the face of God."
--William D. Miller
"ALICE Paul, the suffragist leader, had gold pins made, depicting prison bars, to give to those who went to jail with her in the second decade of this century. Dorothy Day was given one of those pins; but I would bet she did not have it when she died this week. She was not good at owning things. She was good at giving things away, including her-self. It is the only way, finally, to own oneself.
"In her own and this century's teens she was an ardent defender of other people's rights. She continued to speak up for the unprotected when no one else would do that. During World War II, her protests at the internment without due process of Japanese-Americans caused j. Edgar Hoover to open his extensive file on her. Without her, how much bleaker would be our record. She fed the poor, which may not be the Christian's final task, but should normally be the first one.
"She was the long-distance runner of protest in our time, because her agitation was built on serenity, her activism on contemplation, her earthly indignation on unearthly trust. This or that cause, with its noisy followers, came and went, but she was always there. "Rest in peace," one prays over the dead; but she reposed in restlessness, so long as there was no peace-and her moral discontent should be continued. Let her rest in our disquietude.
"Dorothy Day showed us . . . that people who stand with and for others cannot act from a calculus of individual advantage. They must act as they do from a higher urgency, a love beyond what most of us think of as loving. So far from distracting them from earth's injustice, as Marx claimed religion did, Dorothy Day's faith made effective radicalism not only possible, for many people, but imperative. We may not even be able to possess the earth unless we aspire to heaven-like our sister, who is dead and lives. "
This morning to ward off the noise I have my radio on---Berlioz, Schubert, Chopin, etc. It is not a distraction, it is a pacifier. As St. Teresa of Avila said as she grabbed her castanets and started to dance during the hour of recreation in her unheated convent, "One must do something to make life bearable!"
I feel that all families should have the conveniences and comforts which modern living brings and which do simplify life, and give time to read, to study, to think, and to pray. And to work in the apostolate, too. But poverty is my vocation, to live as simply and poorly as I can, and never to cease talking and writing of poverty and destitution. Here and everywhere. "While there are poor, I am of them. While men are in prison, I am not free," as Debs said and as we often quote.
(Advent): You will see the Son of Man coming on a cloud of great power and glory.
Praise the Lord, the God of Israel,
who shepherds the people and sets them free.
God raises from David's house
a child with power to save.
Through the holy prophets
God promised in ages past
to save us from enemy hands,
from the grip of all who hate us.
The Lord favored our ancestors
recalling the sacred covenant,
the pledge to our ancestor Abraham,
to free us from our enemies,
so we might worship without fear
and be holy and just all our days.
And you, child, will be called
Prophet of the Most High,
for you will come to prepare
a pathway for the Lord
by teaching the people salvation
through forgiveness of their sin.
Out of God's deepest mercy
a dawn will come from on hight,
light for those shadowed by death,
a guide for our feet on the way to peace.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Holy Wisdom, you see and meet your beloved one. Like your friend Dorothy, may be joyfully run towards you and do what will profit us so that we, too, may know your embrace. Grant us this grace, O Holy Trinity. Amen.
May God bless us and keep us. May God smile upon us and be gracious to us. May God look upon us kindly, and give us peace. Amen.
Let us bless God/and give thanks.
I've used this prayer form before, as early as 2006. It's from a Bendectine prayer book, The Work of God. I'm taking advantage of some of the structure, weaving it with the Revised Common Lectionary daily lectionary. This lectionary is set up to echo the preceding Sunday's readings through Wednesday, and then to turn to the next Sundays readings at the end of the week. I'm going to include some readings that I've used many times before for Advent, from An Advent Sourcebook. I've often posted these readings at Advent, usually trying to make a context for them by using as many for the appointed day as possible. I thought this year I'd try a new context.