Trent:Sixth Week After Pentecost

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Sixth Sunday after Pentecost.

The Sixth Lord's Day after Pentecost.

MATTINS.

FIRST NOCTURN.

First Lesson.

The Lesson is taken from the Second Book of Kings (xii. i.)

AND the Lord sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and said unto him : There were two men in one city, the one rich, and the other poor. The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds ; but the poor man had nothing save one little ewe -lamb, which he had bought and nourished up. And it grew up together with him, and with his children. It did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter. And there came a traveller unto the rich man ; and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man that was come unto him ; but took the poor man's lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come unto him.

First Responsory.

Prepare your hearts, &c., (p. 221.)

Second Lesson.

AND David's anger was greatly kindled against the man, and he said to Nathan : As the LORD liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die. He shall restore the lamb four-fold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.

And Nathan said to David : Thou art the man—Thus saith the Lord God of Israel : I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul, and I gave thee thy master's house, and thy master's wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah : and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee much greater things. Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the Lord, to "do evil in His sight ? Thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon.

Second Responsory.

God Which heareth all, &c., (p. 222.)

Third Lesson.

NOW, therefore—the sword shall never depart from thine house ; because thou hast despised Me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife. Thus saith the Lord : Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine house ; and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour ; and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. For thou didst it secretly ; but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun. And David said unto Nathan : I have sinned against the LoRD.

And Nathan said unto David : The Lord also hath put away thy sin — thou shalt not die. Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die. And Nathan departed unto his house. And the Lord struck the child that Uriah's wife bare unto David, and it was very sick. David therefore besought the Lord for the child ; and David fasted, and went in, and lay upon the earth. [1]

Third Responsory.

The Lord That delivered me, &c., (p. 222.)

SECOND NOCTURN.

Fourth Lesson.

The Lesson is taken from the Book "On the Defence of David" written by St Ambrose, Bishop [of Milan.] (i. 2.)

IN how many things doth each one of us transgress every hour ! And nevertheless not one of all us common men thinketh it well to confess his sin. Yet that strong and great King would not suffer the acknowledgment of his iniquity to remain, even for a moment, hidden in his own heart. With eager confession and bitter sorrow, he admitted that he had sinned against the Lord.

Which of you will easily find me now some honoured and wealthy person, who will not take it ill if I rebuke him for a fault whereof he is guilty ? But David, amid the splendours of a throne and' the certainty of Divine revelations, when he was rebuked by one of his subjects for his grievous transgression, was not roused to anger, but contrariwise, acknowledged his sin with groans and affliction.

Fourth Responsory.

Saul hath slain, &c., (p. 223.)

Fifth Lesson.

AHE heart-felt sorrow of David moved the Lord to compassion, so that Nathan said : Because thou hast repented, the Lord also hath put away thy sin. The instant gift of pardon declareth the depth of the King's repentance, which was able to obtain the forgiveness of so grievous a transgression. Other men, when they be rebuked of Priests, do but aggravate the heinousness of their sins by the seeking to deny or to excuse them, and thereby make deeper their fall by means of that which should have helped them up. But the saints of the Lord who will to fight a good fight of godliness unto the end and to finish their course by saving" their souls, howbeit, they may perchance have fallen like other men, have done so rather through man's weakness than through lust for iniquity, and rise more eager to go on than before. Shame goadeth them on to fly at higher things.

So that not only is their fall to be reckoned to have nowise hampered them, but rather to have quickened their speed.

Fifth Responsory.

Ye mountains, &c., (p. 223.)

Sixth Lesson. (Ch. iv.)

DAVID sinned; and so oftentimes do other kings. David repented with groaning and tears ; and so do not oftentimes other kings. He admitted his guilt ; he implored forgiveness ; he cast himself down upon the ground, and there wept over his crime ; he fasted ; he prayed ; by publishing his sorrow he left an everlasting witness of his acknowledgment. [2] What meaner men blush to do, the King was not ashamed to own. They who are answerable to law are bold to deny their crimes, and too haughty to ask pardon. Not so he, though he could be haled before no earthly judgment-seat. That he sinned was a matter flowing from his nature ; that he asked for pardon, his own repentance. To fall is common to all men, but his confession was his own. To transgress thus was nature ; to efface his guilt, greatness.

Sixth Responsory.

Thus saith the Lord, &c., (p. 223.)

THIRD NOCTURN.

Seventh Responsory.

My sins are many, &c., (p. 224.)

Eighth Responsory.

One seraph cried, &c., (p. 218.)

Monday.

Second Day.

MATTINS.

First Lesson.

The Lesson is taken from the Second Book of Kings (xiii. 22.)

AND Absalom spake unto his brother Amnon neither good nor bad ; for Absalom hated Amnon, because he had forced his sister Tamar. And it came to pass, after two full years, that Absalom had sheep-shearers in Baal-hazor, which is beside Ephraim ; and Absalom invited all the king's sons. And [Absalom] came to the King, and said : Behold, now, thy servant hath sheep-shearers ; let the King, I beseech thee, and his servants, go with thy servant. And the King said to Absalom : Nay, my son, let us not all go now, lest we be chargeable unto thee. And he pressed him ; howbeit, he would not go, but blessed him.

First Responsory.

Remember, O Lord, Thy covenant, &c., (p. 268.)

Second Lesson.

THEN said Absalom: If not, I pray thee, let my brother Amnon go with us. And the King said unto him : Why should he go with thee ? But Absalom pressed him, that he let Amnon and all the King's sons go with him. Now Absalom had made a feast like one of the King's feasts. And Absalom had commanded his servants, saying ; Mark ye now when Amnon's heart is merry with wine ; and when I say unto you, Smite him,—then kill him, fear not. For it is I that have commanded you. Be courageous, and be valiant. And the servants of Absalom did unto Amnon as Absalom had commanded. Then all the King's sons arose, and every man gat him up upon his mule, and fled.

Second Responsory.

O Lord, Thou hast hearkened, &c., (p. 224.)

Third Lesson.

A ND it came to pass, while they were in the way, that tidings came to David, saying : Absalom hath slain all the King's sons : and there is not one of them left. Then the King arose, and tare his garments, and lay on the earth ; and all his servants stood by with their clothes rent. And Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, [3] David's brother, answered and said : Let not my lord the King suppose that they have slain all the young men the King's sons ; for Amnon only is dead—for by the appointment of Absalom this hath been determined from the day that he forced his sister Tamar. Now therefore let not my lord the King take the thing to his heart, to think that all the King's sons are dead ; for Amnon only is dead. But Absalom fled.

Third Responsory.

Hearken, O Lord, &c., (p. 225.)

Tuesday.

Third Day.

MATTINS.

First Lesson.

The Lesson is taken from the Second Book of Kings (xiv. 4.)

AND when the woman of Tekoah [4] was come in unto the King's presence, she fell on her face to the ground, and did obeisance, and said : Help, O King ! And the King said unto her : What aileth thee ? And she said : Alas for me, I am a widow woman, for mine husband is dead.

And thine handmaid had two sons, and they two strove together in the field, and there was none to part them, but the one smote the other and slew him. And, behold, the whole family is risen against thine handmaid, and they said : Deliver him that smote his brother, that we may kill him, for the life of his brother, whom he slew, and we will destroy the heir also : and so they shall quench my coal which is left, and shall not leave to mine husband either name or remainder upon the earth.

First Responsory.

Lord, when Thy people, &c., (p. 269.)

Second Lesson.

AND the King said : Whosoever saith aught unto thee, bring him to me, and he shall not touch thee any more. Then said she : I pray thee, let the King remember the Lord thy God, that they of the kinship be not suffered to seek further for vengeance, and to destroy my son. And he said : As the LORD liveth, there shall not one hair of thy son fall to the earth. Then the woman said : Let thine handmaid speak one word unto my lord the King. And he said : Say on. And the woman said : Wherefore then hast thou thought such a thing against the people of God, and wherefore doth the King speak this thing as one which is faulty, in that the King doth not fetch home again his banished ? For we must needs all die, and are as water spilt on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. Neither is it the will of God that a soul should perish, but He repenteth Him, lest He should utterly destroy the castaway.

Second Responsory.

And it came to pass, &c., (p. 270.)

Third Lesson. (19.)

AND the King said : Is not the hand of Joab with thee in all this ? And the woman answered and said : As thy soul liveth, my Lord the King, none can turn to the right hand or to the left from aught that my lord the King hath spoken ; for thy servant Joab, he bade me, and he put all these words in the mouth of thine handmaid.

That I should fetch about this form of speech, thy servant Joab commanded it ; but thou art wise, O my lord the King, according to the wisdom of an Angel of God, to know all things that are in the earth. And the King said unto Joab : Behold, now, I am reconciled to do after thy word ; go therefore, and bring the young man Absalom again.

Third Responsory.

Thus saith the Lord, &c., (p. 223.)

Wednesday.

Fourth Day.

MATTINS.

First Lesson.

The Lesson is taken from the Second Book of Kings (xv. i.)

AND it came to pass after this that Absalom prepared him chariots and horse-men, and fifty men to run before him. And Absalom rose up early, and stood beside the entering-in of the gate ; and it was so that when any man that had a controversy came to the King for judgment, then Absalom called unto him, and said : Of what city art thou ? And he said : Thy servant is of one of the tribes of Israel. And Absalom said unto him : See, thy matters are good and right ; but there is no man deputed of the King to hear thee.

First Responsory.

My sins are many, &c., (p. 224.)

Second Lesson.

ABSALOM said moreover : O that I were made judge in the land, that every man which hath any suit or cause might come unto me, and I would do him justice ! And it was so, that when any man came nigh to him to do him obeisance, he put forth his hand, and took him, and kissed him.

And on this manner did Absalom to all Israel that came to the King for judgment ; so Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.

Second Responsory.

O Lord, Thou hast hearkened, &c., (p. 224.)

Third Lesson.

AND it came to pass after forty years that Absalom said unto King" David : I will go and pay my vow which I have vowed unto the Lord in Hebron. For thy servant vowed a vow while I abode in Geshur in Syria, saying : If the LORD shall bring me again indeed to Jerusalem, then I will offer a sacrifice unto the Lord. And King David said unto him : Go in peace. So he arose, and went to Hebron. But Absalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying : As soon as ye hear the sound of the trumpet, then ye shall say — Absalom reigneth in Hebron.

Third Responsory.

Hearken, O Lord, &c., (p. 225.)

Thursday.

Fifth Day.

MATTINS.

First Lesson.

The Lesson is taken from the Second Book of Kings (xv. 13.)

AND there came a messenger to David, saying : The heart of all Israel is after Absalom. And David said unto his servants that were with him at Jerusalem : Arise, let us flee ; for we shall not else escape from Absalom. Make speed to depart, lest he overtake us suddenly, and bring evil upon us, and smite the city with the edge of the sword. And the King's servants said unto him : Thy servants are ready to do whatsoever our lord the King shall appoint.

First Responsory.

Prepare your hearts, &c., (p. 221.)

Second Lesson.

AND the King went forth, and all his household after him on foot ; and the King left ten women, which were concubines, to keep the house.

And the King and all Israel went forth, on foot, and tarried in a place that was far off; and all his servants passed on beside him, and all the Cherethites, and all the Pelethites, and all the Gittites, valiant men of war, six hundred, which came after him from Gath, passed on before him.

Second Responsory.

God Which heareth all, &c., (p. 222.)

Third Lesson.

THEN said the King to Ittai the Gittite : Wherefore goest thou also with us '^. Return to thy place, and abide with the King ; for thou art a stranger, and also an exile. Whereas thou camest but yesterday, should I this day make thee go out with us ? As for me, I go whither I go ; return thou, and take back with thee thy brethren ; and the Lord will deal with thee in mercy and in truth, because thou hast showed me kindness and faithfulness. 1

Third Responsory.

The Lord That delivered me, &c., (p. 222.)

1 Verse 21. And Ittai answered the King, and said : As the Lord liveth, and as my lord the King liveth, surely in what place my lord the King shall be, whether in death or life, even there also will thy servant be.

Friday.

Sixth Day.

MATTINS.

First Lesson.

The Lesson is taken from the Second Book of Kings (xvi. 5.)

AND when King David came to Bahurim, behold, thence came out a man of the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei, the son of Gera. He came forth, and cursed still as he came ; and he cast stones at David, and at all the servants of King David. And all the people, and all the mighty men were on the King's right hand and his left. And thus said Shimei when he cursed the King : Come out, come out, thou bloody man, and thou man of Belial. The LORD hath returned upon thee all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose stead thou hast reigned. [5]

First Responsory.

Saul hath slain, &c., (p. 223.)

Second Lesson. ( 9. )

THEN said Abishai the son of Zeruiah unto the King : Why should this dead dog curse my lord the King ? Let me go over, and take off his head. And the King said : What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah ? Let him curse ; because the LORD hath said unto him : Curse David—and who shall then dare to say : Wherefore hast thou done so ?

Second Responsory.

Ye mountains of Gilboa, &c., (p. 223.)

Third Lesson.

AND the King said to Abishai, and to all his servants : Behold, my son, which came forth of my bowels, seeketh my life ; how much more now may this Benjamite do it ? Let him alone, and let him curse, for the LORD hath bidden him. It may be that the Lord will look on mine affliction, and that the LORD will requite me good for his cursing this day.

Third Responsory.

Thus saith the Lord, &c., (p. 223.)

Saturday.

The Sabbath.

MATTINS.

First Lesson.

The Lesson is taken from the Second Book of Kings (xviii. 6.)

SO the people went out into the field against Israel ; and the battle was in the wood of Ephraim. There the people of Israel were slain before the army of David : and there was there a great slaughter that day, of twenty thousand men. For the battle was there, scattered over the face of all the country, and the wood devoured more people that day than the sword devoured.

First Responsory.

My sins are many, &c., (p. 224.)

Second Lesson.

AND Absalom met the servants of David, and he rode upon a mule ; and the mule went under the thick boughs of a great oak, and his head caught hold of the oak, and he was taken up between the heaven and the earth, and the mule that was under him went away. And a certain man saw it, and told Joab, and said : I saw Absalom hanged in an oak. And Joab said unto the man that told him : If thou sawest him, why didst thou not smite him there to the ground? And I would have given thee ten shekels of silver, and a girdle. And the man said unto Joab : Though I should receive a thousand shekels of silver in mine hand, yet would I not put forth mine hand against the King's son ; for in our hearing the King charged thee, and Abishai, and Ittai, saying : Beware, and save for me my child Absalom.

Second Responsory.

O Lord, Thou hast hearkened, &c., (p. 224.)

Third Lesson.

THEN said Joab : Though thou will it not, yet will I go up against him before thy face. And he took three darts in his hand, and thrust them through the heart of Absalom ; and while he yet hung quivering with life in the oak, ten young men that bare Joab's armour, compassed about, and smote Absalom and slew him. And Joab blew the trumpet, and the people returned from pursuing after Israel, for Joab was fain to spare the multitude. And they took Absalom and cast him into a great pit in the wood, and laid a very great heap of stones upon him.

Third Responsory.

Hearken, O Lord, &c., (p. 225.)

VESPERS.

Antiphon at the Song of the Blessed Virgin. And Zadok the Priest * and Nathan the Prophet anointed Solomon King in Gihon, and they went up with joy, and cried, saying : May the King live for ever !

Note. The above is the First Saturday evening Antiphon which can be displaced by "Wisdom hath builded, &c."

Prayer from the succeeding Lauds.


Citations

  1. The child died. The next few verses in the Bible describe, very touchingly, the conduct of David on the occasion—and, afterwards, how Solomon was born of Bathsheba. David composed the Miserere during his repentance.
  2. I.e., in the Psalm "Miserere."
  3. I.e., Shamma.
  4. She was an agent of Joab.
  5. The text continues : " And the Lord hath delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom thy son. And, behold, thou art taken in thy mischief—because thou art a bloody man."