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in their tribulations, if we count their | the barren fig-tree, and of the woman sorrow to be ours.
that was bowed down : and loving. RY. Bless God. p. civ.
kindness was bestowed on both. He
spoke of the one by way of a simili. Lesson III.
tude. He dealt with the other by WE wipe, then, the feet of the way of a manifestation. The barren
LORD with our hair, when we fig-tree signifies the same thing as the shew mercy out of our own super- infirm woman, and the fig-tree spared, fluities to the saints whom we com- the same as the woman made straight. passionate in charity: if the mind
Ry. We have heard. p. civ. feels such pain of sympathy, that the bountiful hand proves the keenness of
Lesson II. the pang. He washes the feet of the WHAT does the fig-tree signify, wipe them with his hair, who after a the bowed woman plainly indicate, sort pities the distresses of his but the same nature ? It was well neighbour, but shews him no mercy planted like the fig tree, and well of his superfluities. He weeps, but created like the woman; but falling wipes not, who gives words of regret, into sin by its own free will, it prebut by no means allays the sting of served neither the fruit of good works, pain, because he does not supply what nor the state of rectitude. For is lacking. The woman kisses the willingly falling into sin, it lost the feet she anoints, which we also do state of rectitude, because it refused to ,fully, if we heartily love those whom bear the fruit of obedience. we support with our bounty. Lest formed in God's likeness, but did not our neighbour's need be a burden to remain in its own dignity; thought as, let not his very want which we
scorn of keeping to its first planting and supply become a weariness : lest, while creation. The LORD of the vineyard our hand gives him necessaries, our came thrice to the fig-tree, because mind should grow slack in good He sought out the nature of mankind will.
before the law, under the law, and Rz. I go up. p. civ.
under grace; by expecting, admonish
ing, and visiting. EMBER SATURDAY.
Ry. Bless the LORD. p. ciii.
came before the law, because by
natural intellect it was known to AT that time: Jesus spake this
parable to the multitude: A man, what he ought to do, after God's certain man had a fig-tree planted in example, and how he should act his vineyard ; and he came and sought towards his neighbour.
He came fruit thereon, and found none. And under the law, because He taught by that which follows.
His commandments. He came after
the law by grace, because He openly A Homily of S. Gregory the Great.
shewed His loving Presence. But, Homily 31 on the Gospels. nevertheless_He complains that in Our LORD and Redeemer speaks by three years He found no fruit, because His Gospel, sometimes in words, there are some evil minds, which sometimes in deeds ; sometimes one neither does the law inspired by thing in words, and another in deeds; nature correct, nor do the commandsometimes the same thing in words ments instruct, nor do the miracles and deeds. Ye have heard two of the Incarnation convert. What things, brethren, from the Gospel ; of further is denoted by the dresser of
the vineyard, save the order of rulers ? and to those that dwelt in Cilicia, and for while they govern the Church, i Damascus, and Libanus, and Antilithey doubtless have the care of the banus, and to all that dwelt upon the LORD's vineyard.
sea coast, and to those among the Ry. Fear not. p. ciii.
nations that were of Carmel, and
Galaad, and the higher Galilee, and FOURTH SUNDAY IN SEPTEMBER. the great plain of Esdrelom. And to FIRST NOCTURN.
all that were in Samaria and the cities
thereof, and beyond Jordan unto Here beginneth the Book of Judith.
Jerusalem, and Betane, and Chellus, Lesson I. Chaps. i. and ii. and Kades, and the river of Egypt, IN the days of Arphaxad, which and Taphnes, and Ramesse, and
reigned over the Medes in Ecba- all the land of Gesem, until ye tane, and built in Ecbatane walls come beyond Tanis and Memphis, round about of stones hewn three and to all the inhabitants of Egypt, cubits broad and six cubits long, and until yo come to the borders of made the height of the wall seventy Ethiopia. cubits, and the breadth thereof fifty Ry. We have heard. p. civ. cubits : and set the towers thereof upon the gates of it, an hundred
Lesson III. cubits high, and the breadth thereof in the foundation threescore cubits: BOT all the inhabitants of the land
made light of the commandment and he made the gates thereof, even of Nabuchodonosor king of the gates that were raised to the height of Assyrians, neither went they with him seventy cubits, and the breadth of to the battle ; for they were not them was forty cubits, for the going afraid of him: yea, he was before forth of his mighty armies, and for them as one man, and they sent away the setting in array of his foot- bis ambassadors from them without
effect, and with disgrace. Therefore Rz. O LORD, Thou art great and Nabuchodonosor was very angry with glorious, Who gavest salvation by the all his country, and sware by his hand of a woman : * hear the prayers throne and kingdom, that he would of Thy servants. y. Blessed art surely be avenged upon all those coasts. Thou, O Lord, Who forsakest not And in the eighteenth year, the two them that trust in Thee, and humblest and twentieth day of the first month, them that trust in their own strength. there was talk in the house of NabuHear.
chodonosor king of the Assyrians, Lesson II.
that he should, as he said, avenge EVEN in those days king Nabu-himself on all the earth. So he called
chodonosor madě war with king unto him all his officers, and all his Arphaxad in the great plain, which is pobles, and communicated with them the plain in the borders of Ragau. his secret counsel, and concluded the And there came unto him all they afflicting of the whole earth out of his that dwelt in the hill country, and all own mouth. that dwelt by Euphrates, and Tigris, Ry. Blessed be Thou, o our God, and Hydaspes, and the plain of Arioch Which hath this day brought to the king of the Elymeans, and very nought the enemies of Thy people; many nations of the sons of Chelod, for this Thy confidence shall not assembled themselves to the battle depart from the heart of men. Ť. Then Nabuchodonosor king of the Blessed be the LORD God, Which hath Assyrians sent unto all that dwelt in created the heavens and the earth. Persia, and to all that dwelt westward, For. Glory. For.
Lesson VI. From the Book of S. Ambrose, Bp. on THEREFORE she, who fasted Elijah and Fasting.
continuously for three days, and Lesson IV. Chap. 9.
washed her body with water, pleased
him more, and obtained vengeance; MIGHTY men
are forbidden to but Haman, while he boasts of the drink wine, lest, if they should royal banquet, pays the penalty of his drink it, they might forget wisdom. drunkenness amidst his very cups. And again mighty men drank wine in Fasting is therefore the sacrifice of drunkenness, who were eager to give reconciliation, the increase of virtue, themselves up to Holofernes, the which has made even women stronger captain of the armies of the king of by the increase of grace. Fasting Assyria. But Judith, a woman, knows no money-lender, knows not fasting, drank not, all the days of her the interest-table; the meals of fasters widowhood, except on the solemnities smell not of usury, nay, fasting makes of festivals. Fenced with these arms, banquets pleasant; because meals she went forth, and outwitted all the which cause distaste by repetition, hosts of the Assyrians. By the might and are little esteemed by reason of of sober counsel she took the head of long recurrence, are made sweeter by Holofernes from him, she preserved hunger. Fasting is the sauce of food, her honour, and brought victory back and the keener the appetite, the with her.
pleasanter is the fare. Ry. We know no other GOD save the LORD in Whom we hope : * there- battles, lift up Thine arm upon the
Rz. O LORD God, that breakest the fore we trust that He will not despise heathen that have devised evil against us, nor any of our nation. y. Let us wait for salvation of Him, and call hand be glorified in us. y. Throw
Thy servants : and let Thy right upon Him to help us. Therefore.
down their strength in Thy power, Lesson V.
and bring down their force in Thy GIRT with this fast, she went forth wrath. And. Glory. And. into the camp of the aliens :
Rz. vii. Strengthen me, 0 King,
* Give me while their captain lay sunk in wine, chief among the saints ; so that he could not feel the stroke of eloquent speech in my wrath. y. o his wound; and thus the fact of one King of the nations, and LORD of all woman laid low the countless armies power, turn their device upon them.
selves. Give. of the Assyrians. Esther, also, was made fairer by her fast: for the LORD
Rz. viii. Two Seraphim. p. xxvii. increased the grace of her sober mind.
MONDAY. She delivered all her people, that is, all the nation of the Jews, from bitter
Of the Book of Judith. persecution, so as to make the king
Lesson I. Chap. iv. himself her subject.
Now the children of Israel, that Ry. I pray Thee, I pray Thee, O dwelt in Judea, heard all that God of my father, LORD of the heavens Holofernes the chief captain of Nabuand the earth, Creator of the waters. chodonosor king of the Assyrians had King of every creature: * hear Thou done to the nations, and after what the prayer of Thy servants. y. Thou manner he had spoiled all their art à God of the afflicted, an helper of temples, and brought them to nought. the oppressed, an upholder of the Therefore they were exceedingly afraid weak, a protector of the forlorn, a of him, and were troubled for JeruSaviour of them that are without salem, and for the temple of the hope. Hear.
LORD their God: therefore they sent
into all the coasts of Samaria, and | Judea and Jerusalem before the sancthe villages, and to Bethoron, and tuary of the LORD Almighty. And Belmen, and Jericho, and to Choba Joacim the high priest, and all the and Esora, and to the valley of Salem : priests that stood before the LORD, and possessed themselves beforehand and they which ministered unto the of all the tops of the high mountains, LORD, bad their loins girt with sackand fortified the villages that were in cloth, and offered the daily burnt them, and laid up victuals for the offerings, with the vows and free gifts provision of war: for their fields were of the people, and had ashes on of late reaped.
their mitres, and cried unto the Rz. O LORD, Thou art great. p. cix. LORD with all their power, that he
would look upon all the house of Lesson II.
was in those days in Jerusalem, wrote to them that dwelt in Bethulia,
TUESDAY. and Betomestham, which is over
Of the Book of Judith. against Esdraelon toward the open Lesson I. Chap. viii. country, near to Dothaim, charging them to keep the passages of the hili NOW at that time Judith heard
thereof, which was the daughter country: for by them there was an of Merari, the son of Ox, the son of entrance into Judea, and it was easy Joseph, the son of Oziel, the son of to stop them that would come up, Elcia, the son of Ananias, the son of because the passage was strait, for Gedeon, the son of Raphaim, the son two men at the most. children of Israel did as Joacim the of Acitho, the son of Eliu, the son of
Eliab, the son of Nathanael, the son high priest had commanded them, of Samael, the son of Salasadai, the with the ancients of all the people of son of Israel. And Manasses was her Israel, which dwelt at Jerusalem. husband, of her tribe and kindred, Then every man of Israel cried to God who died in the barley harvest. For with great fervency, and with great as he stood overseeing them that vehemency did they humble their bound sheaves in the field, the heat souls: both they, and their wives.
came upon his head, and he fell on Ry. We have heard. p. civ.
his bed, and died in the city of Lesson III.
Bethulia : and they buried him with
his fathers in the field between THUS every man and woman and Dothaim and Balamo. So Judith was habitants of Jerusalem, fell before the a widow in her house three years and
four months. temple, and cast ashes upon their heads, and spread out their sackcloth
Ry. We know. p. cx. before the face of the LORD : also they
Lesson II. put Backcloth about the altar, and AND she made her a tent upon the
top of her house, and put on one consent earnestly, that he would sackcloth upon her loins, and ware her not give their children for a prey, and widow's apparel. And she fasted all the their wives for a spoil, and the cities days of her widowhood, save the eves of their inheritance to destruction, of the sabbaths, and the sabbaths, and and the sanctuary to profanation and the eves of the new moons, and the reproach, and for the nations to re- moons, and the feasts and joice at. So God heard their prayers, solemn days of the house of Israel. and looked upon their afflictions : for She was also of a goodly countenance, the people fasted many days in all and very beautiful to behold: and her
husband Manasses had left her gold, , put on her garments of gladness, and silver, and menservants, and maid- wherewith she was clad during the servants, and cattle, and lands; and life of Manasses her husband. And she remained upon them. And there she took sandals upon her feet, and was none that gave her an ill word; for put about her her bracelets, and her she feared God greatly.
chains, and her rings, and her earRy. I pray Thee. p. cx.
rings, and all her ornaments, and
decked herself bravely, to allure the Lesson III.
eyes of all men that should see Now when she heard the evil her. words of the people against the
Ry. Strengthen me. p. cx. governor, that they fainted for lack of water; for Judith had heard all the
Lesson II. words that Ozias had spoken
unto Thus they went straight forth in them, and that he had sworn to
the valley: and the first watch deliver the city unto the Assyrians of the Assyrians met her, and took after five days; then she sent her her, and asked her, Of what people waitingwoman, that had the govern. art thou ? and whence comest thou? ment of all things that she had, to and whither goest thou ? And she call Ozias and Chabris and Charmis, said, I am a woman of the Hebrews, the ancients of the city; and they and am fled from them: for they shall came unto her, and she said unto be given you to be consumed : and I them, Hear me now, O_ye governors am coming before Holofernes the of the inhabitants of Bethulia : for chief captain of your army, to declare your words that ye have spoken before words of truth; and I will shew him the people this day are not right, a way, whereby he shall go, and win touching this oath which ye made and all the hill country, without losing the pronounced between God and you, and body or life of any one of his men. have promised to deliver the city to
Ry. We have heard. p. civ. our enemies, unless within these days the LORD turn to help you. And
Lesson III. now who are ye that have tempted GoD AND they brought her to the tent of this , God among the children of men ?
concourse throughout all the camp: R. O LORD God. p. cx.
for her coming was noised among the WEDNESDAY.
tents, and they came about her, as
she stood without the tent of HoloOf the Book of Judith.
fernes, till they told him of her. And Lesson 1. Chap. X.
they wondered at her beauty, and NOW after that she had ceased to admired the
children of Israel because cry unto the God of Israel, and of her, and every one said to his neighhad made an end of all these words ; bour, Who would despise this people, she rose where she had fallen down, that have among them such women ? and called her maid, and went down surely it is not good that one man of into the house, in the which she them be left, who being let go might abode in the sabbath days, and in her deceive the whole earth. Now Holofeast days. And pulled off the sack- fernes rested upon his bed under & cloth which she had on, and put off canopy, which was woven with purple, the garments of her widowhood, and and gold, and emeralds, and precious washed her body all over with water, stones. So they showed him of her ; and anointed herself with precious and he came out before his tent with ointment, and braided the hair of her silver lamps going before him. And head, and put on a tire upon it, and I when Judith was come before him