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had to do with proving the reality of the examine by sight and touch the traces manhood which He took upon Him. ; of the Passion in His flesh; Because For after His passion, when He broke thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed; the bands of death, which had lost its blessed are they that have not seen, strength by attacking Him Who knew and yet have believed. no sin, infirmity passed into strength, R%. CHRIST going up. p. ccxxi. mortality into immortality, insult into glory; which glory the LORD JESUS
THIRD NOCTURN. CHRIST displayed by many and evident Lesson of the Holy Gospel according proofs in the sight of many persons,
to S. Mark. until He carried
into the heavens the victorious triumph which
Lesson VII. Chap. xvi. He had brought back from the dead. As on Ascension Day. p. ccxxi. Ry. It is time. p. ccxx.
A Homily of S. Gregory the Pope.
Whoso believeth and is baptized S
ver pbelieveth was the reason of our rejoicing in not, shall be damned. the Paschal festival, so His ascension some one may say to himself, I into Heaven is the subject of our already believe: I shall be saved. present gladness, as we celebrate and He saith the truth, if he keeps the do fitting honour to that day whereon faith by his works. But that is true our lowly nature exalted in faith, which does not contradict by CHRIST above all the host of heaven, its conduct, what it utters in words. above all the ranks of angels, and Hence it is that Paul saith of certain beyond the height of all the powers, false believers : They profess that they unto the throne of God the FATHER. know God, but in works they deny Him. We then are founded and built up Hence John saith: He that saith, I apon this order of the works of God, know him, and keepeth not his comthat the grace of God might be more mandments, is a liar, and the truth is wonderful, when, although He hd not in him. taken away from the sight of men those Ry. I will pray. p. ccxxi. things which were justly felt to teach reverence for Him; nevertheless faith
Lesson VIII. should not fail, hope should not waver, SEEING the thing is so we pught
. Ry. Let not. p. ccxx.
examination of our life. For then we
are truly faithful if we fulfil in deed Lesson VI.
what we have promised in words.
For on the day of our baptism, we THIS is the strength of great minds, and the light of truly faithful souls, the works of the ancient enemy, and
promised that we would renounce all to believe unhesitatingly what cannot all his pomps. Therefore let each of be beheld by bodily vision, and to fix thy longing there, whither thou canst himself ; and if he keeps after baptism
you direct his mind's eyes to examining not direct thy sight. For how could what he vowed before baptism, he may this loving spirit arise in our hearts, rejoice in the certainty that he is or how could any one be justified by really one of the faithful. faith, if our salvation consisted only
Ry. Thou makest. p. ccxxi. in things which are visible to the sight? Wherefore the LORD said to
Lesson IX. that man, who seemed to doubt BUT behold, if he hath not kept CHRIST's resurrection, unless he might what he hath promised, if he hath
fallen away to practising evil deeds, and a thief in the night; in the which the to desiring the pomps of the world, let heavens shall pass away with a great us see if he knows how to mourn for his i noise, and the elements shall melt
For he who returns to the with fervent heat, the earth also and truth even after he has lied, is not the works that are therein shall be counted a deceiver by our merciful burned up. Seeing then that all these Judge ; because Almighty God, while things shall be dissolved, what manner readily receiving our repentance, Him- of persons ought ye to be in all holy self covers our sin in His conversation and godliness, looking judgment.
for and hasting unto the coming of the Te Deum, p. 15.
day of God, wherein the heavens SATURDAY.
being on fire shall be dissolved, and FIRST NOCTURN.
the elements shall melt with fervent Of the 2nd Ep. of S. Peter the Apostle. heat ? Nevertheless we, according
to his promise, look for
heavens Lesson I. Chap. iii.
and a new earth, wherein dwelleth TAIS second epistle, beloved, I now righteousness. write unto you; in both which I
Ry. All the beauty. p. ccxix. stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: that ye may be mind
Lesson, III ful of the words which were spoken WHEREFORE, beloved, seeing before by the holy prophets, and of that ye look for such things, be the commandment of us the apostles diligent that ye may be found of him of the LORD and Saviour: knowing in peace, without spot, and blameless. this first, that there shall come in the And account that the longsuffering of last days scoffers, walking after their our LORD is salvation; even as our own lusts, and saying, Where is the beloved brother Paul also according to promise of his coming? for since the the wisdom given unto him hath fathers fell asleep, all things continue written unto you; as also in all his as they were from the beginning of epistles, speaking in them of these the creation. For this they willingly things; in which are some things are ignorant of, that by the word of hard to be understood, which they God the heavens were of old. and the that are unlearned and unstable wrest, earth standing out of the water and in as they do also the other scriptures, the water : whereby the world that unto their own destruction. Ye then was, being overflowed with water, therefore, beloved, seeing ye know perished: but the heavens and the these things before, beware lest ye earth, which are now, by the same also, being led away with the error of word are kept in store, reserved unto the wicked, fall from your own fire against the day of judgment and stedfastness. But grow in grace, and perdition of ungodly men.
in the knowledge of our LORD and Ry. After His Passion. p. ccxix. Saviour JESUS CHRIST. To him be Lesson II.
glory both now and for ever. Amen. BUT
beloved, be not ignorant of Ry. Be Thou exalted. p. ccxx. this one thing, that one day is with the LORD as a thousand years,
SECOND NOCTURN. and a thousand years as one day.
A Sermon of S. Leo the Pope. The LORD' is not slack concerning his
Lesson IV. promise, as some men count slackness : but is long-suffering to us-ward,
Sermon 2 on the Ascension. pot willing that any should perish, THAT which was openly visible in but that all should come to repentance. our Redeeemer, passed into the But the day of the LORD will come as form of Sacraments; and, that faith
might be nobler and stronger, teaching of the soul unto the Son, Co-equal succeeded to sight, that the hearts of with the FATHER: and to need no believers, enlightened by heavenly | longer that lowering of the bodily rays, might follow its authority. No substance in CHRIST, whereby He is bonds, no dungeons, no exiles, no inferior to the FATHER: because, as hunger, no fire, no rending by wild the nature of His glorified Body still beasts, no tortures elaborated by the continues, the faith of believers cruelty of persecutors, were able to ascends thither, where the Only shake this faith, increased by the As- Begotten, Co-equal with the FATHER, cension of the LORD, and strengthened might be touched, not with the band by the gift of the Holy Ghost. On of flesh, but with spiritual understandbehalf of this faith, throughout the ing. Hence it is that after His whole world, not only men, but even resurrection, the LORD said to S. Mary women, not only immature boys, but Magdalene, as representative of the even tender virgins, resisted unto the Church, when she was eager to draw shedding of their blood. This faith near to touch Him: Touch Me not: for cast out devils, drove away sicknesses, I am not yet ascended to My FATHER. raised the dead to life.
I would not that thou shouldest come Ry. It is time. p. ccxx.
unto Me in bodily fashion, nor that V.
thou shouldest know Me by the fleshly
understanding. I put thee off for WHENCE also, the blessed a posteles loftier things : preparem forethea
been stablished by so many miracles, and to My FATHER, then thou shalt touch
greater ascended taught by so many discourses, but were Me more perfectly, more truly : thou nevertheless affrighted at the severity shalt apprehend what thou touchest of the LORD's Passion, and did not not, and thou shalt believe what thou receive the truth of His resurrection dost not behold. without doubting, profited so much by
Ry. CHRIST going up. p. ccxxi. the LORD'S Ascension, that what had at first caused them fear was turned
THIRD NOCTURN. to joy. For they lifted up the whole contemplation of their mind to the Lesson of the Holy Gospel according Godhead of Him Who sitteth on the
to S. Mark. right hand of the FATHER; nor were Lesson VII. Chap. xvi. they any longer impeded by an object
As on Ascension Day. p. ccxxi. of bodily sight from directing their mind's eye to the truth : that He had A Homily of S. Gregory the Pope. not absented Himself from the FATHER
Homily 29. by coming down, nor departed from
And these signs shall follow them His disciples by ascending. It was that believe : In My Name shall they then, therefore, dearly beloved, that cast out devils; they shall speak with the Son of man was more perfectly new tongues ; they shall take up and more divinely known to be the serpents; and if they drink any deadly Son of God, when He betook Himself thing, it shall not hurt them; they to the glory of the FATHER's Majesty, shall lay hands on the sick, and they and He began unspeakably to be more shall recover. My brethren, do you present in His Godhead when He be- fail to believe, because you do not percame more distant in His manhood.
form these signs? But these were Ry. Let not. p. ccxx.
necessary in the beginning of the Lesson VI.
Church. For in order that the multiTHEN, a better instructed faith tude of believers might grow up to began to draw near by the progress the faith, it was necessary to nourish
them with miracles : just as we, when I SUNDAY IN THE OCTAVE OF ASCENSION. we plant shrubs, pour water on the
All the office is of the Ascension, earth, until we see them to be united with the ground, and when they have except that which is here set down as once struck root, the watering will proper, Hence it is that Paul saith,
If the Lessons of the First Nocturn Tongues are a sign, not for believers, were read on the previous day, that is, but for unbelievers.
when the festival of S. John Port
Latin occurs on the previous Saturday, Ry. I will pray. p. ccxxi.
the lessons of the following Monday
are read on Sunday. Lesson VIII. WE have a more mystical way, in
FIRST NOCTURN. which we ought to think about these signs and powers; for holy Here beginneth the 1st Epistle of S. Church does every day in a spiritual
John the Apostle. way, what she did then in bodily
Lesson I. Chap. i. form by the apostles. For when her priests, by way of exorcism, lay their THAT which was from the begin
ning, which we have heard, which hands on unbelievers, and forbid the we have seen with our eyes, which we evil spirit to dwell in their soul, what have looked upon, and our hands else do they but cast out devils ? And have handled, of the Word of life ; the faithful also, who leave behind (for the life was manifested, and them the worldly language of their we have seen it, and bear witness, and former life, who speak of the holy shew unto you that eternal life, which mysteries, and, so far as they can, was with the FATHER, and was manideclare the praise and power of their fested unto us ;) that which we have Maker, what else do they but speak seen and heard, declare we unto you, with new tongues ? And when, by that ye also may have fellowship with their good advice, they take away us: and truly our fellowship is with mischief from the hearts of others, the FATHER, and with his Son JESUS they take up serpents.
CHRIST. And these things write we Ry. Thou makest. p. ccxxi.
unto you, that your joy may be full.
This then is the message which we Lesson IX.
have heard of him, and declare unto AND when they hear poisonous you, that God is light
, and in him is suggestions, and yet are not no darkness at all. seduced into doing wrong, that which Ry. After His Passion. p. ccxix. they drink is deadly, but it will not hurt them. And as often as they see their
Lesson II. neighbours growing weak in good works, when they help them with all IF we say that we have fellowship
with him, and walk in darkness, we their power, and strengthen by the lie, and do not the truth ; but if we pattern of their own conduct the life walk in the light, as he is in the light, of those who are stumbling in their we have fellowship one with another, habits, what else do they, save lay and the blood of JESUS CHRIST his their hands on the sick, that they may Son, cleanseth us from all sin. If we recover ? And these miracles are all say that we have no sin, we deceive the greater, in that they are spiritual : ourselves, and the truth is not in us. they are all the greater, because it is If we confess our sins, he is faithful not bodies, but souls, that are raised and just to forgive us our sins, and to again by them.
cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Te Deum. p. 15.
If we say that we have not sinned, we
make him a liar, and his word is not I will offer to Thee the sacrifice of in us.
thanksgiving. Ry. All the beauty. p. ccxix.
Ry. It is time. p. ccxx.
Lesson V. My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. THE Resurrection of the Lord is our
hope : the Ascension of the LORD And if any man sin, we have an is our glorification. To-day we are advocate with the FATHER, JESUS keeping the festival of the Ascension. CHRIST the righteous : and he is the If then we are keeping the LORD's propitiation for our sins; and not for Ascension duly, fully and devoutly, ours only, but also for the sins of the piously, lovingly, let us ascend with whole world. And hereby we do know Him and lift up our hearts. But when that we know him, if we keep his com- ascending, let us not be puffed up nor mandments. He that saith, I know plume ourselves on our merits him, and keepeth not his command. Though they were our own. We ought ments, is a liar, and the truth is not to have our hearts lifted up unto the in him. But whoso keepeth his word, LORD; for a heart which is lifted up, in him verily is the love of God yet not unto the LORD, is called pride, perfected: hereby know we that we but a heart which is lifted up unto are in him. He that saith he abideth God, is called a refuge. Behold, my in him ought himself also so to walk, brethren, a mighty wonder. God is even as he walked.
high : thou liftest up thyself, and He Ry. Be Thou exaited. p. ccxx. flees from thee; thou humblest thy
self, and He comes down to thee. SECOND NOCTURN.
Why is this? Because He is high, A Sermon of S. Augustine the Bishop. and hath respect unto the lowly, but
as for the proud, He beholdeth them Lesson IV.
afar off. He beholdeth the lowly, Sermon 2. on the Ascension.
close at hand, that He may lift them Saviour,
up: the high, that is to say, the proud, brethren, hath ascended into He beholdeth from afar off, that He heaven: let us therefore not be may put them down. troubled upon earth. Let our soul
Ry. Let not. p. ccxx. be there, and here we shall have rest. Let us ascend with CHRIST in heart
Lesson VI. during this time of waiting: when His FOR CHRIST rose again, that He promised day shall come, we shall might give us a hope that man, follow in body too. But we ought to who dieth, might rise again : lest know, brethren, that neither pride nor dying should make us despair, and lest avarice nor lust ascendeth with CHRIST: we should fancy that our life is ended no disease of ours ascends with our in death, He hath made us free from Physician. And therefore, if we desire any dread. For we were disquieted to ascend after our Physician, we must about our very soul, and He, by rising lay aside our vices and our sins. For again, gave us confidence in the all these weigh us down, as it were resurrection of the body. Believe, with fetters, and strive to tangle us in therefore, that thou mayest be the nets of sins. And therefore, cleansed; thou must believe first, that with the help of God, as the Psalmist thou mayest afterwards behold GOD saith, let us break their bonds asun- through faith. Hear Him: Blessed der, that we may be enabled in are the pure in heart; for they shall safety to say unto the LORD, Thou see God. Think first, therefore, of has broken my bonds in sunder : cleansing thy heart; whatsoever thou