“In the forty days of the preparation for Easter, we endeavor to get away from the heathenism that weighs us down, that is always driving us away from God, and we set off toward him once again. So, too, at the beginning of the Eucharist, in the confession of sin, we are always trying to take up this path again, to set out, to go to the mountain of God’s word and God’s presence… We must learn that it is only in the silent, barely noticeable things that what is great takes place, that man becomes God’s image and the world once more becomes the radiance of God’s glory. Let us ask the Lord to give us a receptivity to his gentle presence; let us ask him to help us not to be so deafened and desensitized by this world’s loud outcry that our receptivity fails to register him. Let us ask him that we may hear his quiet voice, go with him, and be of service together with him and in his way, so that his kingdom may become present in this world… We imitate God, we live by God, like God, by entering into Christ’s manner of life. He has climbed down from his divine being and became one of us; he has given himself and does and does so continually… It is by these little daily virtues, again and again, that we step out of our bitterness, our anger toward others, our refusal to accept the other’s otherness; by them, again and again, we open up to each other in forgiveness. This “littleness” is the concrete form of our being like Christ and living like God, imitating God; he has given himself to us so that we can give ourselves to him and to one another.” – Pope Benedict XVI, Many Religions – One Covenant, Israel, the Church and the World, p. 81, 82-83, 87 Let us Pray: Prompt our actions with your inspiration, we pray, O Lord,
and further them with your constant help,
that all we do may always begin from you,
and by you be brought to completion.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Collect, Thursday after Ash Wednesday
As the noise of the day subsides,
and we turn to our thoughts within,
who waits there, patiently, in the silence?
Are we listening?
(Evening Prayer in the Temple)
O Come, bless the Lord,
all you who serve the Lord,
who stand in the house of the Lord,
in the courts of the house of our God.
Lift up your hands to the holy place
and bless the Lord through the night.
May the Lord bless you from Zion,
he who made both heaven and earth.
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.
Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake; watch over us as we sleep,
that awake, we may keep watch with Christ, and asleep, rest in his peace.
Lord, we ask you to visit this house
and banish from it all the deadly power of the enemy.
May your holy angels dwell here to keep us in peace,
and may your blessing be upon us always.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
May the all-powerful Lord grant us a restful night and a peaceful death. Amen