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ren, humble and poor in spirit. Grant us, like the wise men from the East, to seek after Thee with diligence, and find Thee in the cradle of our hearts, and there adore Thee, offering up the gold of charity, the incense of devotion, and the myrrh of mortification. Amen.
Our FATHER, &c.
JESU, Redeemer of the world!
Who, ere the earliest dawn of light, Wast from eternal ages born,
Immense in glory as in light ! Immortal hope of all mankind !
In Whom the FATHER's Face we see ; Hear Thou the prayers Thy people pour
This day throughout the world to Thee. Remember, O Creator LORD,
That in the Virgin's sacred womb Thou wast conceived, and of her flesh
Didst our mortality assume,
Its witness bears, that all alone
To save the world Thou camest down.
O Day! to which the seas and sky,
And earth and heaven, glad welcome sing ; O Day which healed our misery,
And brought on earth salvation's King !
We too, O LORD, who have been cleansed
In Thine Own fount of Blood Divine,
On this blest natal Day of Thine.
Immortal glory be to Thee;
PSALM XXI. Domine, in virtute tua.
The king shall rejoice in Thy strength, O LORD : exceeding glad shall he be of Thy salvation.
Thou hast given him his heart's desire : and hast not denied him the request of his lips.
For Thou shalt prevent him with the blessings of goodness : and shalt set a crown of pure gold upon his head.
He asked life of Thee, and Thou gavest him a long life : even for ever and ever.
His honour is great in Thy salvation : glory and great worship shalt Thou lay upon him.
For Thou shalt give him everlasting felicity : and make him glad with the joy of Thy countenance.
And why? because the king putteth his trust in the LORD : and in the mercy of the most Highest he shall not miscarry.
All Thine enemies shall feel Thy hand : Thy right hand shall find out them that hate Thee.
Thou shalt make them like a fiery oven in time of Thy wrath : the LORD shall destroy them in His displeasure, and the fire shall consume them.
Their fruit shalt Thou root out of the earth : and their seed from among the children of men.
For they intend mischief against Thee : and imagined such a device as they are not able to perform.
Therefore shalt Thou put them to flight: and the strings of Thy bow shalt Thou make ready against the face of them.
Be Thou exalted, LORD, in Thine own strength : so will we sing, and praise Thy power. Glory be to the FATHER, &c. As it was in the beginning, &c.
S. STEPHEN'S DAY.
They stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and crying with a loud voice, Lay not this sin to their charge.
The righteous shall flourish like a palm
tree; and shall spread abroad like a cedar in Libanus. Alleluia.
We fools accounted his life madness, and his end to be without honour. How is he numbered
the children of God, and his lot is among the saints !
My soul cleaveth unto Thee, O LORD: though an host of men be set against me, yet will I trust in Thee.
He looked up steadfastly, and saw the heavens opened, and the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.
Blessed are they that enter therein.
Stephen "being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and JEsus standing at the right hand of God, and said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God.”—Acts vii. 55, 56.
In this marvellous vision we see the extraordinary favour of God towards His elect. And that which fitted S. Stephen for so high a favour was his being “full of the Holy Ghost,” of His gifts and graces.
Illuminated by this Divine Teacher, “he looked up steadfastly into heaven;" not so much with the eyes of the body, as with those of the soul, longing for heavenly things, sighing after them, and praying for
himself and others. And he “ saw the glory of God, and JESUS standing on the right hand of God;" the heavenly Light which shone upon his soul strengthened his faith, till he beheld with his interior eyes
“ the glory of GOD” in the Majesty of His Trinity, and “ JESUS” in the Mystery of His glorious Humanity.
O blessed vision ! O ample reward, that was vouchsafed to the servant of God! Stephen had witnessed a wonderful confession, and God bestowed upon him a wonderful favour.
JESUS had beheld the suffering member of His Body faithful in the fight, and as the Captain of Salvation He eneouraged the soldier by His Presence. He revealed Himself not sitting, but standing, to give His servant thereby to understand that He was ready to help him in the combat, and to
own him when it was over. And Stephen said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God.”
In his dying hour he was an eye-witness of the truth which he had preached, and of Him Whom he saw, even “ the Son of Man.” Even to the last he received the favour of God, not as if intended for his own enjoyment, but that he might publish God's glory, through CHRIST, for the good