Fourth Week of Advent
Monday of the Fourth Week of Advent
Taken from The Liturgical Year by Dom Prosper Gueranger (1841-1875)

Prope est jam Dominus; venite, adoremus.
The Lord is now nigh; come, let us adore.

Quote:De Isaia Propheta. Cap. xli.
Et tu, Israël, serve meus, Jacob quem elegi, semen Abraham amici mei: in quo apprehendi te ab extremis terræ, et a longinquis ejus vocavi te, et dixi tibi: Servus meus es tu, elegi te, et non abjeci te. Ne timeas, quia ego tecum sum; ne declines, quia ego Deus tuus; confortavi te, et auxiliatus sum tibi, et suscepit te dextera Justi mei. Ecce confundentur et erubescent omnes qui pugnant adversum te; erunt quasi non sint, et peribunt viri qui contradicunt tibi. Quæres eos, et non invenies, viros rebelles tuos; erunt quasi non sint, et veluti consumptio homines bellantes adversum te. Quia ego Dominus Deus tuus, apprehendens manum tuam, dicensque tibi: Ne timeas; ego adjuvi te. Noli timere, vermis Jacob, qui mortui estis ex Israël; ego auxiliatus sum tibi, dicit Dominus, et redemptor tuus Sanctus Israël. Ego posui te quasi plaustrum triturans novum, habens rostra serrantia; triturabis montes, et comminues, et colles quasi pulverem pones. Ventilabis eos, et ventus tollet, et turbo disperget eos; et tu exsultabis in Domino, in Sancto Israel laetaberis.

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From the Prophet Isaias. Ch. xli.
But thou Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend: In whom I have taken thee from the ends of the earth, and from the remote parts thereof have called thee, and said to thee: Thou art my servant, I have chosen thee, and have not cast thee away. Fear not, for I am with thee: turn not aside, for I am thy God: I have strengthened thee, and have helped thee, and the right hand of my just one hath upheld thee. Behold all that fight against thee shall be confounded and ashamed, they shall be as nothing, and the men shall perish that strive against thee. Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find the men that resist thee: they shall be as nothing: and as a thing consumed the men that war against thee. For I am the Lord thy God, who take thee by the hand, and say to thee: Fear not, I have helped thee. Fear not, thou worm of Jacob, you that are dead of Israel: I have helped thee, saith the Lord: and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel. I have made thee as a new thrashing wain, with teeth like a saw: thou shall thrash the mountains, and break them in pieces: and shalt make the hills as chaff. Thou shalt fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them: and thou shalt rejoice in the Lord, in the Holy One of Israel thou shalt be joyful.

It is thus thou raisest us up from our abject lowliness, O Eternal Son of the Father! It is thus thou consolest us under the fear we so justly feel by reason of our sins. Thou sayest to us: Israel, my servant! Jacob, whom I have chosen! seed of Abraham, in whom I have called thee from the remote parts of the earth! fear not, for I am with thee. But O divine Word, how low thou hast had to come, that thou mightest be thus with us! We could never have come to thee, for between us and thee there was fixed an immense chaos. Nay, we had not so much as the desire to see thee, so dull of heart had sin made us; and had we desired it, our eyes could never have borne the splendor of thy majesty.

Then it was that thou didst descend to us in person, yet so that our weakness could look fixedly upon thee, because veiled under the cloud of thy humanity. “Who could doubt,” says St. Bernard, “of there being some great cause pending, seeing that so great a Majesty deigned to come down, from so far off, into so unworthy a place? Oh yes, there is some great thing at stake, for the mercy is great, and the commiseration is extreme, and the charity is abundant. And why, think you, did he come? He came from the mountain to seek the hundredth sheep that was lost.

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O wonderful condescension, a God seeking! O wonderful worth of man, that he should be sought by God! If man should therefore boast, he is surely not unwise; for he boasts not for aught that he sees in himself as of himself, but for his very Maker making such account of him. All the riches and all the glory of the world, and all that men covet in it, all is less than this glory, nay, is nothing, when compared to it. What is man, O Lord, that thou shouldst magnify him? or why dost thou set thy Heart upon him?” Delay not, then, Good Shepherd! show thyself to thy sheep. Thou knowest them; not only hast thou seen them from heaven, thou also lookest on them with love, from the womb of Mary where thou still art concealed. They also wish to know Thee; they are impatient to behold thy divine features, to hear thy voice, and to follow thee to the pastures thou hast promised them.

Hymn for the Time of Advent
(Composed by St. Ambrose. It is in the Ambrosian Breviary, for the Sixth Sunday of Advent)

It is a Mystery of the Church, it is a Hymn that we sing to Christ, the Word of the Father, become the Son of a Virgin.

Among women, thou alone, O Mary! wast chosen in this world, and wast made worthy to carry in thy holy womb Him who was thy Lord.

This is a great mystery, that is given to Mary: that she should see the God, who created all things, become her own child!

How truly art thou full of grace, ever glorious Virgin! for of thee is born the Christ, by whom all things were made.

Come then, ye people, let us pray to the Virgin Mother of God, that she would obtain for us peace and indulgent mercy.

Glory be to thee, O Lord, who was born of the Virgin! and to the Father and the Holy Ghost, for everlasting ages.

Prayer From the Ambrosian Missal
(In the Mass of the Fifth Sunday of Advent)

 O God, who, seeing man fallen a prey to death, didst resolve to redeem him by the Coming of thine Only Begotten Son; grant, we beseech thee, that they who confess his glorious Resurrection, may deserve to be forever with their Redeemer. Who with thee, liveth and reigneth forever. Amen

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"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre

Prope est jam Dominus: venite; adoremus.
The Lord is now nigh; come, let us adore.

Quote:De Isaia Propheta.Cap. xlii..

Ecce servus meus, suscipiam eum; electus meus, complacuit sibi in illo anima mea : dedi spiritum meum super eum, judicium gentibus proferet. Non clamabit, neque accipiet personam; nec audietur vox ejus foris. Calamum quassatum non conteret, et linum fumigans non extinguet; in veritate educet judicium. Non erit tristis, neque turbulentus, donec ponat in terra judicium; et legem ejus insulae exspectabunt. Haec dicit Dominus Deus, creans caelos, et extendens eos; formans terram, et quae germinant ex ea, dans flatum populo qui est super eam, et spiritum calcantibus eam. Ego Dominus vocavi te in justitia, et apprehendi manum tuam, et servavi te; et dedi te in foedus populi, in lucem gentium, ut aperires oculos caecorum, et educeres de conclusione vinctum, de domo carceris sedentes in tenebris.

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From the Prophet Isaias. Ch. xlii.

Behold my servant, I will uphold him: my elect, my soul delighteth in him: I have given my spirit upon him, he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not cry, nor have respect to person, neither shall his voice be heard abroad. The bruised reed he shall not break, and smoking flax he shall not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. He shall not be sad, nor troublesome, till he set judgment in the earth: and the islands shall wait for his law. Thus saith the Lord God that created the heavens, and stretched them out: that established the earth, and the things that spring out of it: that giveth breath to the people upon it, and spirit to them that tread thereon. I the Lord have called thee in justice, and taken thee by the hand, and preserved thee. And I have given thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles: That thou mightest open the eyes of the blind, and bring forth the prisoner out of prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.
How sweet and peaceful is Thy entrance into this world, O Jesus! Thy voice is not heard giving its command; and Thy hands, they hands of a yet unborn Babe, seem too weak to break the reed, so frail, that a breath would break it. What is it Thou hast come to do in this first coming? Thy heavenly Father tells us by the prophet. Thou art coming that Thou mayst be the pledge of a covenant between heaven and earth. O divine Infant! Son of God, and yet Son of man, blessed be Thy coming among us! Thy crib will be the ark which will save us; and when Thou walkest on our earth, it will be to give us light, and set us free from our prison-house of darkness. It is just, therefore, that we should rise and meet Thee on Thy approach, seeing that Thou hast come all this way to us. ‘If the sick man cannot go out some distance to meet so great a Physician,’ says St. Bernard, ‘let him, at least, make an effort to raise his head and turn towards Him as He enters. It is not required of thee, O man! to pass the seas, or ascend the clouds, or cross the Alps. The way that is shown unto thee is not a long one; go as far as thine own self, and there meet thy God: for the word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart. (Rom. x. 8) Meet Him at least at thy heart’s compunction, and thy mouth’s confession, that thou mayst at least go out of the filth of thy guilty conscience, for into that thou surely never wouldst make the author of purity enter!’ (First sermon of Advent) Glory, then, be to Thee, O Jesus, for sparing the broken reed, that so it may regain its verdure and strength on the banks of the stream of which Thou art the source! Glory be to Thee, for having checked the breath of Thy almighty justice, and so cherishing the last spark left in the smoking flax, that it might burn up again, and give light at the Bridegroom’s feast.

(Composed by St. Peter Damian)

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Ma all earth and heaven be glad and resound with the praises which, in this double choir, are sung to the maternity of the Virgin.

Yea, this Virgin, Mother of the Word, is made the gate of heaven; she gave God to the world, and, by this, opened heaven to us.

This happy Mother of Jesus conceived him without humilitation, and bore him without a moan; such a Mother could not be under law put on Eve.

O that rich treasury of Mary’s womb! it held the price which purchased our redemption, setting us free from the yoke of our debt.

The Son of the eternal Father dwelt within her; the Holy Ghost overshadowed her; what is such a Virgin’s womb but a new-made heaven?

To thee, Most High, who wast born of the Virgin, be praise! Honour ineffable be to the Father, and to the holy Spirit.

(In Adventu Domini, Oratio post Prophetiam)

Opifex lucis alme, plebis visitator immeritae, qui illa prophetalium vaticiniorum oracula, quae saeculis fuerunt nuntiata, beati Joannis ore exples, opere perficis, professione peragis; concede plebi supplici tibi sine formidine famulari; ut per viscera misericordiae repleti scientia, veritate dirigi mereamur.

Benign Creator of the light, visiting an unworthy people! the oracles of the prophetic predictions, which were announced in the past ages, thou didst fulfil by the mouth of John, thou didst perfect by his works, thou didst accomplish by his mission. Grant to thy people, making supplication to thee, to serve thee without fear; that, through the bowels of thy mercy, we, being filled with knowledge, may deserve to be directed by truth.

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"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
Prope est jam Dominus: venite; adoremus.
The Lord is now nigh; come, let us adore.

Quote:De Isaia Propheta.Cap. li.
Audite me, qui sequimini quod justum est, et quaeritis Dominum; attendite ad petram unde excisi estis, et ad cavernam laci de qua praecisi estis. Attendite ad Abraham, patrem vestrum, et ad Saram, quae peperit vos; quia unum vocavi eum, et benedixi ei, et multiplicavi eum. Consolabitur ergo Dominus Sion, et consolabitur omnes ruinas ejus; et ponet desertum ejus quasi delicias, et solitudinem ejus quasi hortum Domini. Gaudium et laetitia invenietur in ea, gratiarum actio et vox laudis. Attendite ad me, popule meus, et, tribus mea, me audite : quia lex a me exiet, et judicium meum in lucem populorum requiescet. Prope est justus meus, egressus est salvator meus, et brachia mea populos judicabunt; me insulae exspectabunt, et brachium meum sustinebunt. Levate in caelum oculos vestros, et videte sub terra deorsum; quia caeli sicut fumus liquescent, et terra sicut vestimentum atteretur, et habitatores ejus sicut haec interibunt, salus autem mea in sempiternum erit, et justitia mea non deficiet.

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From the Prophet Isaias. Ch. li.
Give ear to me, you that follow that which is just, and you that seek the Lord: look unto the rock whence you are hewn, and to the hole of the pit from which you are dug out. Look unto Abraham your father, and to Sara that bore you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and multiplied him. The Lord therefore will comfort Sion, and will comfort all the ruins thereof: and he will make her desert as a place of pleasure, and her wilderness as the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of praise. Hearken unto me, O my people, and give ear to me, O my tribes: for a law shall go forth from me, and my judgment shall rest to be a light of the nations. My just one is near at hand, my saviour is gone forth, and my arms shall judge the people: the islands shall look for me, and shall patiently wait for my arm. 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 for ever, and my justice shall not fail.
O Jesus, Thou Flower of the field, Thou Lily of the valley, Thy visit is to change our barren parched earth into a garden of delights! We had lost Eden and all its lovely magnificence, by our sins; and lo! Eden is restored to us; Thou art coming, that Thou mayst set it in our hearts. O heavenly plant, tree of life, transplanted from heaven to earth, Thou first takest root in Mary, that fruitful soil; and thence Thou wilt come to us, and we must be to Thee a grateful land, cherishing the divine seed and making it fructify. Let it be so, O divine Husbandman! who didst appear to Magdalene under the form of a gardener. Thou knowest how far are our hearts from being ready for Thy working in them. Move, and break, and water this land; the season is come; our hearts long to be fertile, and to have growing within them that exquisite Flower which makes the beauty of all heaven, and comes down to hide its splendour for a time here below. O Jesus! let our souls be fertile; let them be crowned with the flowers of virtue; let them become flowers growing around Thee, O divine Flower, and forming to the heavenly Father a garden, which He may unite with that which He formed from all eternity. O Flower of heaven, Jesus! Thou art also the Dew, refresh us; Thou art the Sun, warm us; Thou art the fragrant Perfume, impart to us Thy sweetness; Thou art the sovereign Beauty, give us of Thy fair and ruddy bloom, and make us cluster round Thee in eternity, as a crown Thou hast wreathed to Thyself.

(Composed by St. Ambrose. It is in the Ambrosian breviary for first Vespers of Christmas, and in the ancient Roman-French breviaries)

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Come, O Redeemer of mankind! reveal to us the Virgin's delivery: let all ages be in admiration: for what other birth would have been worthy of God?

Not of man, but of the Holy Ghost, was the Word of God made flesh, and the fruit of the womb ripened.
The Virgin has become Mother, and yet the Mother is still a Virgin. It is the banner of omnipotence which here shines; God has come into his temple.

He comes forth from the royal palace of virginity, as from his bride-chamber, that he may exultingly run the way, as a giant, who is both God and Man.

He comes forth from the Father; he returns to the Father, he decends into hell; he ascends to the throne of God.
Coequal Son of the eternal Father, gird thee with the trophy of the flesh; strengthening the weaknesses of our flesh by thy unfailing power.

Thy crib is already resplendent, and the night breathes forth a new light, the light of faith; let no night interrupt it, let its brightness be incessant.

Glory be to thee, O Lord, who wast born of the Virgin! and to the Father and the Holy Ghost, for everlasting ages.

(Second Sunday of Advent)

Domine Deus omnipotens, qui pro humani generis redemptione coaeternum tibi coaequalemque Filium angeli annuntiatione per Mariae Virginis uterum usque ad nos voluisti transmitterre; da nobis hoc tempore adventus tui Unigeniti eamdem pacis gratiam, quam in praeterita largiri dignatus es saecula, et illi nos in occursum fidei socios numerandos, quos in fidei primordia a Joanne poenitentiae undis aquaram ablutos, a te postremo per Filium in Spiritu sancto et igni cognoscimus baptizaatos.

Lord God omnipotent! who, for the redemption of the human race, didst deign to send even unto us, by the message of an angel and by the Virgin Mary's womb, thy coeternal and coequal Son; grant us, in this time of the advent of thy only Son, that same grace of peace which thou hast mercifully bestowed upon the past ages, and number us among those who, at the first beginning of the faith, were acceptable to him by embracing the faith; and who, being washed in the water of penance by John, were afterwards baptized by thee, through thy Son, in the Holy Ghost and fire.

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"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre

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